How to develop a child’s learning motivation?

How to develop a child’s learning motivation?

Some of the parents who come to CISC say that their child has no wish to learn, and so they hope that a change of school will change the learning motivation as well. As a rule, a child does not want to attend a school in which he/she does not enjoy the school process, and thus has no interest in education.

Why do modern parents try to find a school for their children that would be alternative to traditional educational establishments? 

First of all, it’s the new information technologies, equipment of classrooms with computing tools and machines, local and global computer networks, electronic demonstration equipment, computer and science labs.

Second, it’s the new teaching methods, i.e. transformation from explanatory-exemplary education (learn-and-tell) to developmental educatioin (forming creative thinking and scientific research skills).

There are several new teaching methods, but most of the parents will find interest in the one that induces a child to a motivated learning.

It is the developmnental education technique, the main purpose of which is providing the development of a student’s cognitive potential. The students, independently or with a teacher’s assistance, comprehend the material, learn it, and then creatively apply it in unoconventional conditions. In order to implement such technique, the teacher must expand the borders of educational programme, give the student a possibility to be involved into those types of activities that cause the most active interest, to determine the scope and intensity of his or her own activities. To this end, we must define the students’ motivational needs, and stimulate their cognitive activity.

For many families, choosing an alternative school means searching for a school where their child will enjoy learning and where educational motive will stimulate the child’s cognitive activity.

Motive (lat. motus – movement) – inducement to act, related to satisfaction of a person’s needs.

Educational motivation must satisfy the need caused by the child’s cognitive activity and readiness to master the knowledge. Interest means having a cognitive need, and every child has such need, therefore, it is vital to activate it.

There are several types of eeducational motivation.

Cognitive, when the content and the process of education cause a child’s stable interest.

Social, when the student’s learning is induced by the purpose of becoming the best, to obtain a diploma, or to evade dissapointment of parents or other sognificant adults.

A natural motive for education is the cognitive interest. But not all part of the educational process can cause a stable natural cognitive interest. Therefore, it’s better to form and develop both cognitive and social types of educational motivation. And in order to form the educational motivation both  in cognitive and in social direction, we must apply  the whole range of teaching methods: oral, exemplary, practical, didactic etc.

Interest as the main component of cognitive educational motivation is divided into three elements: 

– positive emotions caused by activity;

– cognitive element (I learned something new);

– result (I did it).

It is essential that the processes of thinking, concentration, memorizing became more effective while fulfilling the tasks. In order to achieve this, the said processes must be accompanied by strong emotions (joy, anger, amazement etc.). And excessive difficulties beyond a student’s strenght or very slow teaching tempo must be avoided.

Now, as concerns the methods of forming cognitive and social educational interests.

Methods of forming cognitive educational interest:

discussion, disputation, basing on own experience, role games, reconctruction of controversial situations etc.

How can we make the lessons emotionally-laden? New and surprising paradoxical facts, complex and exciting situations from the life of outstanding people, unusual natural and social phenomena may inspire a special communication between the teacher, the student and the parents.

Methods of forming social educational interest:

positive example (an example of successful relative, parent, famous person, or someone else the child admires); convincing discussion (a child’s opinion must be taken into consideration); training a child to adhere to requirements, explanation, incitement (the parents must control the making of certain tasks).

Such pattern of actions if aapplied as a system, forms a child’s stable motivation to accomplish every task taken or chalenge faced.

Educational and cognitive motives are initially formed and then function as a habit, and finally, in high school, they are transformed into a conscious choice of the student’s main activity.

An efficient development of intellectual skills provides a child with more chances to reveal and sustain cognitive interest in the process of education. And the main guarantee of Your child’s success is Your love and harmonius day-to-day communication.

Iryna Lagoda, Top psychologist, Head of CISC_Kyiv Psychological service 


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