Besides the personal factors we discussed last time, there are school- or classroom-based factors that impact motivation. For many students, the work they are asked to do is not at an appropriate level. If the assignment or activity is too easy, a student is bored. If it is too challenging, he or she may give up.
I mentioned lack of interest as a student characteristic. This is linked to school when there is no real-life application of learning. Students need to see the connections between what they are working on and their lives. For a secondary student, this may mean connecting the subject with possible future jobs. For a primary student, it may be as simple as seeing his or her name in a math word problem.
A final demotivating school-based factor is the lack of perceived power by students. Think about that for a moment. I mentioned this to one teacher who responded, “I’m not giving power to my students; it’s my classroom.”
When students perceive they have no power, they lose motivation to be involved in learning. They struggle to gain some sense of control, at times in destructive clashes with their teacher. A simple example is the lack of choice for students. If you ask students when they have choices in school, the majority will answer, “at lunch.” Offering opportunities for students to build ownership through choices is one of the topics
Which of these factors can you impact for your students?