I found an article entitled: What do students want (and what really motivates them)? It was from September of 1995 in Educatinal Leadership. It starts out by saying that students who are engaged in their work are energized by four goals: success, curiosity, originality, and satisfying relationships. They talked about a study they had done ten years prior asking teachers and students to simple questions: What kind of work do you find totally engaging? and What kind of work do you hate to do? They found distinct patterns in their responses. Engaging work was: work that stimulated their curiosity, expressed their creativity, and fostered positive relationships with others. As for work they hated, both teachers and students said it was work that was repetitive, that required little no thought, and that was forced on them by others.
The article then went through what they called the SCORE. S=Sucess(the need for mastery), C=Curiosity (the need for understanding), O= Originality (the need for self-expression), R=Relationships (the need for involvement with others) and E=Engery (I think that is just so they can complete their acronym)
The article then goes through each step giving tips of how you can increase these in your classroom. In success they give these three tips.
1. We must clearly articulate the criteria for success and provide clear, immediate, and constructive feedback.
2. We must show students that the skills they need to be successful are within their grasp by clearly and systematically modeling these skills.
3. We must help them see success as a valuable aspect of their personalities.
It states that these things seem obvious enough, but these are simple ways that we can improve motivation in the classroom by modeling things such as brandstorming, interpreting poetry etc. If they see that we can do it, they will get the courage to try themselves. This reminded me of the self efficacy reading I posted about earlier with the vicarious experience part.
As this article goes on they give examples how to intense curiosity by making sure the topic relates to the studends lives and the information about the topic is fragmentary or contradictory, increase originality by doing independent projects, and using peers to do projects with one another. One example they gave was having three students in a group, one learning about lizards, one about tortoises, and the other about snakes. Then have them compare and contrast the reptiles so that they need one anothers knowledge.
I thought it was an interesting article to use some of the ideas in my own classroom down the road, but I am going to continue reading about McClellen and Maslow for next week.