Schools can influence student motivation

Niya Allen, Staff Writer

In the 21st century, schools have depressed students’ motivation within the classroom. Addressing and improving the conditions that bring too many childreninto an unmotivated state can improve students’ urge to learn. Fourth grade teacher Mia Allen describes the motivation of young students by saying,“They are too young not to care, they have not completely checked out yet.”

According to the Hechinger Report, students’ motivation declines as they transition from middle to high school. Therefore, students are more engaged in learning before entering high school because of the more external rewards they receive. Motivating students by only using extrinsic ways is the most prominent reason for this problem.

Sophomore Abbey Houseal said, “I always did stuff to get a reward when I was younger. Our generation only wants to do stuff if there is a reward because if not, we don’t see a purpose in doing it.” Gifting students for doing what is expected of them has depressed intrinsic motivation, yet that’s what most schools do. However, there is a way to reverse this habit.

Allen stated, “Start out with external motivators and gradually decrease those motivations, so you’re teaching students how to have their own built in motivators.” Contrastingly, researchers have found that the more interesting a lesson is, students’ motivation naturally increases because it’s something they care about. Using these strategies cohesively will help to spark up intrinsic motivation in high school students.

Instead of filling out worksheets using a book, teachers need to begin coming up with various ways for students to complete a task to help them become intrinsically motivated.