30 Tips for fostering students' desire to do well in school
|by Leah Davies, M.Ed.
Regular contributor to the Gazette
April 1, 2009
Young children develop attitudes toward learning from the significant others in their lives. If parents or other adults nurture a child's self-confidence and curiosity, and provide resources that invite exploration, they instill the message that learning is useful and fun. Children, who observe adults being enthusiastic toward education and coping positively with setbacks, will likely follow their adult role models and pursue knowledge as well as persevere when faced with failure.
Through school attendance, children develop beliefs about their abilities and acquire skills to cope with new situations. A teacher's perceptions of how children acquire information and their expectations for their students' academic success can have a profound effect upon children's motivation. Educators need to believe that their students can learn and challenge them to reach their potential.
Low-ability or disadvantaged children and students who have learning or attention disorders must work hardest to succeed. Yet, they often have the least incentive to do so, since high-ability students are the ones who receive the most positive feedback. It is important to note that when children experience many failures, their attitude toward learning often deteriorates. Although younger children are likely to make an effort to succeed, older children may view trying and not succeeding as more negative than making no effort at all.
How can educators foster motivation in children?
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