On April 27, 2018, I had the privilege to attend a mini-talk on Motivation presented by Vinicius Nobre (Vinnie).
Most of the attendees wanted to know about techniques to get their students or staff motivated. My agenda was way more selfish: “How can I get myself motivated?”
Nobre started off giving us an overview of theories and highlighting the plurality of who we are is that what makes our life more interesting.
Vinnie went on to say that there are no easy recipes on Motivation – subjectivity.
No ready-made solution.
The Motive – the reason why you do something
Rule 1 – you can bombard someone’s motivation and help someone’s motivation to blossom. But you CAN’T motivate others. Motivation is not extrinsic. That concept is not supported by research. It’s intrinsic. It’s the power that comes from within. The reward approach can backfire.
“I can be a tool for the person to discover motivation within him or her”.
Locus of control -how you relate to events in your life
INTERNAL X EXTERNAL
Internal locus of control – you’ve taken control of your life. How you perceive your role related to events. Develop your level of awareness / external locus of control – more likely to conform to social influences.
Take responsibility for your actions.
Self-efficacy- Determining how you can perform – performance outcomes and vicarious experience
Students working with students of a higher or lower level can identify problem areas and learn . When you see someone doing something very well you can feel intimidated … – high or low self efficacy – but if you believe you can do it… self-efficacy can be increased / raised,
When the teacher tells the student:
“Come on. That’s very easy.”
Most often they’ll reply:
“Easy for you.”
The student must believe he/she can do it.
People are looking for the source of the motivation when it is within you.
Demonstrate – there’s magic in showing how.
Develop a task for students to be feeling well – scaffolding – building student’s motivation – and subsequently you give the real task. Gradually building their feeling of competence.
Remind students that you believe that they can do it.
The body has a lot of power. Physically involved – writing something… – by physically connecting people they feel they can do more.
“As educators we HAVE to believe that people can do it.”
When you see people performing well it can inspire us…
3. Learned helplessness – you need to help the students in their helplessness. Acknowledging the fact that students many times can’t see what you see.
Whip /stick and the carrot motivation
People have different motivations. How to discover the other person’s real motivation? We base other people’s motivation based on our own. Wrong approach. They might be very different. You want students to love English… but their motivations would be really different…
Why will someone do something for free???? Intrinsic motivation. The most powerful reward is the one you assign to yourself.
The power of rewards
“SOMETIMES THE MOTIVATION IS IN THE ACTIVITY”
Great mistake – overcompensation – a sticker, a chocolate, a dictionary … we teachers have created the illusion that studying English is not fun, that students need extrinsic motivation.
We treat students as preschoolers.
Extrinsic motivators used in our classes: they work for a short period and a very simple task.
Engaging students in topics that they like.
The challenge is that you can’t create motivation, you have to help´students identify the different motivations that make them tick.