A fabulous article by Larry Ferlazzo, on how to support children/pupils in becoming self-motivated.
Strategies for Helping Students Motivate Themselves
the four qualities that have been identified as critical to helping students motivate themselves: autonomy, competence, relatedness, and relevance.
In this post, I’ll discuss practical classroom strategies to reinforce each of these four qualities.
My favourite bits of the article:
Feedback, done well, is ranked by education researcher John Hattie as number 10 out of 150 influences on student achievement.
As Carol Dweck has found, praising intelligence makes people less willing to risk “their newly-minted genius status,” while praising effort encourages the idea that we primarily learn through our hard work: “Ben, it’s impressive that you wrote two drafts of that essay instead of one, and had your friend review it, too. How do you feel it turned out, and what made you want to put the extra work into it?”
But how do you handle providing critical feedback to students when it’s necessary? Since extensive research shows that a ratio of positive-to-negative feedback of between 3-1 and 5-1 is necessary for healthy learning to occur, teachers might consider a strategy called plussing that is used by Pixar animation studios with great success. The New York Times interviewed author Peter Sims about the concept:
The point, he said, is to “build and improve on ideas without using judgmental language.” . . . An animator working on Toy Story 3 shares her rough sketches and ideas with the director. “Instead of criticizing the sketch or saying ‘no,’ the director will build on the starting point by saying something like, ‘I like Woody’s eyes, and what if his eyes rolled left?” Using words like “and” or “what if” rather than “but” is a way to offer suggestions and allow creative juices to flow without fear, Mr. Sims said.
“And” and “what if” could easily become often-used words in an educator’s vocabulary!