Monday, April 20, 2015

What is your motivation to learn?

Generally speaking, whenever we hear the word 'LEARN', most of us immediately associate this with school... and once we picture school, most likely the one we have experienced in our lives, then we are not very positive about the word LEARNING for, I presume, we could have had rather sad time learning either at school or after school... Am I wrong? Correct me if so! School is not the best place in terms of motivation. Lessons are often boring, teachers far from enthusiastic unless they want to prove you know nothing... Of course, I do believe there are some exceptional schools which, unfortunately, only confirm this unhappy trend...

Anyhow, motivation, as Żylińska writes in her book 'NEURODYDAKTYKA' is something you cannot really develop. All this babbling on what to do to motivate students is just a waste of time. I do agree that motivation can be encouraged in this or that way... but will it be a long-lasting condition? Żylińska claims that motivation is like hunger, you have to feel it to realize it's there. The same at school... - and I agree with this - you can't force anybody to have a whale of a time at school if you focus just on methods or techniques totally ignoring the subject of your teaching, that is your student! I believe, just as Żylińska says, that we learn best when we are engaged, involved, focused on doing, playing, acting out, etc... Then motivations doesn't really matter because you start learning subconsciously, which means you had to be motivated to do things eagerly. How often do kids learn this way at school? How often do students forget about learning and learn? I have a feeling they know where they're going in the morning and they know what to expect there (stress, boredom, tests and cross-questioning in front of the class)...  Am I wrong? Correct me!

My belief is that once a topic is absolutely interesting for a student, once activities match his/her abilities or Multiple Intelligences and once a teacher puts some effort in planning the class well, that student will submerge him/herself in such a learning context and will focus on doing rather than conscious learning. This is a dream class for me, i.e. a class where I organize activities in a way that does not remind students in any way of where they are and that they are supposed to be formally learning something. Once we are intrinsically motivated, we won't need a teacher trying to convince us of the value of what is to be done in the class... we will just forget about learning and start learning... Paradoxical enough... but this is the way it is, IMHO...

Take a look at what real motivation is...



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