To all the people concerned with education knowing the ways of encouraging the children to learn is crucial. One way of doing this is motivating them. Motivation is defined as the total internal processes that impel an individual to satisfy a need.
Alternatively, motivation can be referred to as the factors that energize, reinforce, or direct behavior toward the attainment of certain goals and satisfaction of needs.
In short, motivation is a thing, an event, or a situation that compels us to carry out certain activities. Ibikunle (2000) points out that motivation is central to learning and achievement in the classroom must be knowledgeable in the techniques of motivating pupils’ behaviors in your subject areas.
By referring to the learning situation, motivation means all factors that increase the students’ activity toward learning.
Adeniyi (1999) describes motivation as the needs, desires, interests, or a consideration of reason that arouses a person and directs him or her toward a specific goal. The behavior of a motivated person is expected to differ from that of an unmotivated one.
For example, an SSS3 student who had already won a scholarship to further study abroad would want to pass his or her Senior School Certificate Examinations (SSCE) and would study harder than an individual with a casual interest in reading just to attempt the examination before getting married.
Concerning learning, there are two classes of motivation – intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. The following techniques should be applied to classroom teaching.
Make learning materials meaningful.
The learning materials should be meaningful and related to the goals of students. It is shown that motivation can be used to predict students’ behavior and thereby increase their learning.
The classroom teacher should therefore motivate the students by making sure that the contents of learning materials are meaningful to the students and appeal to them.
This can be done if the teacher can make the students realize what the lesson will help them achieve in life.
For example, a teacher must remind his students of the benefits that they can derive from the course, or tell them about the world of work, such as teaching, the mass media, the public relations industry, engineering, construction companies, banks, oil and gas company, Telecommunication Company, publishing company, etc.
By telling the students all these while imparting the knowledge to them, they will continue to develop a keen interest in the subject or course. Everyone is normally interested in what can fetch him or her the advantages or benefits.
Provide students with specific tasks.
The teacher should students with specific tasks. This may be in the form of project work, reading assignments, practicals, demonstrations, etc. They are expected to provide solutions to specific problems. For example, a teacher can deliberately give students a difficult topic in his or her subject area as a group assignment or project which will make them find solutions to it themselves. The action will prevent students from laziness.
Provide students with immediate feedback.
The teacher should provide the students with immediate feedback which will enable students to know their performance in the class and thus motivate their interest in learning.
For example, if a teacher has conducted a test or has given an assignment on any topic in his or her subject area, he or she should give the scripts back after marking has been done for view.
When tests are given to students, feedback on test results should be given to students promptly. When punishments with caution because of the side effects.
Corporal punishments should be avoided altogether because of the obvious negative side effects on the students and the teacher who administers them. This will serve as a purpose of motivation.
Recognize the concept of individual differences.
The teacher should also recognize the concept of individual differences in learning. He or she should therefore design his or her lesson bearing in mind the individual difference.
In the teaching of a topic, for example, a teacher should know that students are different in assimilation because they are below-average, average, and above-average in the classroom.
A good and careful teacher should start from known to unknown and from simple to complex so that students will be able to achieve their goals in the aspects of any subject.
Use judicious reinforcement.
Where necessary, reinforcements should be judiciously applied so that reinforcers that appeal to students will be used at the appropriate times.
Therefore, teachers should reward not only achievements but also efforts made towards achievements especially in difficult subjects such as science subjects to encourage further efforts by the students in the future.
Weak students should be encouraged. The judicious use of reinforcement, such as praise, helps in motivating learners.
In the classroom, a teacher should try as much as possible to reinforce his or her learners so that they can achieve their goals.
For example, clapping, praise, reward, commendation, “saying well” or “very good of you” can motivate learners in the classroom to achieve their goals in the subject areas.
Develop and sustain positive relationships.
The teacher should try to develop and sustain positive a relationship with the students. A positive relationship should be developed and sustained between the learners and the teachers.
For example, if a teacher wants his or her students to master the aspects of his or her subject and achieve their goals in the subject, he or she should advise, motivate, help, and sustain the interest of students in the subject or course.
The teacher is not expected to be harsh or unfriendly with the students he or she is teaching.
Organize co-curricular activities.
It has been observed that co-curricular activities in school can motivate students a lot to stay for long studies in that school.
Co-curricular activities such as school debates, club activities, games, etc. should be organized frequently for students to demonstrate their hidden talents.
They derive satisfaction and self-confidence by so doing. Through that, certain skills will still be learned in school co-curricular activities.
Give support and encouragement.
The teacher should give students support and relationships. Support and encouragement should be given to highly anxious students.
For example, when a teacher is teaching a topic or any aspect of subject areas, take-home assignments, and open-book examinations, teachers’ supervision and feedback are useful.
These methods will make them discover their weaknesses in many areas of the subject areas.
Make the learning environment conducive to learning.
Teachers should also make the learning environment conducive and secure or safe for learning. It should be devoid of threats and high competition.
He or she should show the students that he or she is interested in them and their work so that the students would have self-confidence and thereby build high self-esteem.
Meet the needs of your students.
The teacher should try to meet the needs of the students in terms of the provision of opportunities for asking questions, carrying out research, and other investigations.
The teacher should be concerned about why students fail to know certain things in his or her lessons and if possible re-teach the topic to assist the students in remembering what has been learned.