PDIP 3250 Instructional Strategies
Assignment 4 #1
April 22nd 2017
Peter Robertson 2 | P a g e
PIDP 3250 Instructional Strategies – Reflective Writing
Brophy defines motivation in the classroom as “the level of enthusiasm and the degree to which students invest attention and effort in learning1” (2004 P. 4)
This is very interesting to me as motivation as noted in our “Student Engagement Book” is the portal to engagement. Together with motivation, engagement is viewed in the literature as very important for enhanced learning outcomes of all students. Motivation is seen as a pre-requisite of and a necessary element for student engagement in learning. Student engagement in learning is not only an end in itself but it is also a means to the end of students achieving sound academic outcomes2.
It all starts with motivation. Motivation in this definition implies an internal state a concept that differs considerably from the external manipulation of rewards and punishment that was emphasized in the early studies by behaviourists1.
Understanding what and how to motivate learners is the topic of many conversations between both instructors and employers. Behaviorist models propose that instructors should emphasize the positive behavior in learners (attentiveness in class, careful work on assignments, thoughtful and frequent contributions to discussion1) this provides a benchmark for all learners in the classroom to aspire to. The principles of Behaviorism permeate the classroom and the criticism is that this focuses on extrinsic rewards, bribes and situational compliance. Awareness of the issues however can help you use incentives.
Motivating students is important—without it, teachers have no point of entry. But it is engagement that is critical, because the level of engagement over time is the vehicle through which classroom instruction influences student outcomes7. Focus on quality not quantity.
Cognitive models of the 1960s brought in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs where when learners basic human needs such as food, water, shelter and safety are met then the learner can commit themselves to higher learning1. The goals theory where instructors establish supportive relationships and cooperative collaborative learning arrangements that encourage students to adopt learning goals (trying to learn whatever the instructors task is designed to teach them) instead of performance goals (preserving self-perception or public reputation as capable individuals1).
In this theory, learners will not have the fear of failure and will learn purposeful and significant learning that is pertinent to their place of employment.
If the learning is pertinent to their practice, they will value the learning and understand the goals of the learning. Building up self-esteem by providing positive timely feedback that allows the learner to gain confidence, make the learning relevant to the workplace and providing supports that sustain the learner to continue to be motivated with the new learning are some of the things that I will encourage in my classroom.
Peter Robertson 3 | P a g e
Gaining insight into how learners are motivated will assist an instructor to create a positive and secure environment that will motivate the learner to participate and gain the most from the learning experience.
There is a role for me as an educator to create an environment where students are motivated to learn but at the same time they need to come to the table as this quote notes.
I believe that teaching is an equal partnership between instructor and learner and a process of exploration, one which works best when both parties make firm commitments for their own roles and have clear expectations of each other.
I found this in my research of teaching philosophies from Ryerson University in Canada.
“I typically begin new courses by making explicit this social contract between me and my students using some variant of the following to provoke discussion:
• Provide the opportunity to learn • Respect your investment of time and money • Deliver value added content in every class
• Contribute to your own learning outcome • Respect my investment of time and effort • Prepare adequately for every class
Because I view education as this equal partnership, I do not subscribe to a “consumer” model of education. I have expectations of students and hold them accountable to meet them, and I encourage them to hold me equally accountable to meet my commitments to them4.”
For the instruction that I provide, I identify with the values and expectancy model of motivation, which speaks about engagement as an important component. Teachers can increase student motivation by taking steps to increase the value of the learning to students and helping students hold optimistic and positive expectations about their ability to succeed1.
Peter Robertson 4 | P a g e
1. Barkley, Elizabeth F., Student Engagement Techniques – A Handbook for College Faculty Jossey Bass 2010 – John Wiley and Sons P. 9, 10, 14
2. How Motivation Influences Student Engagement: A Qualitative Case Study – Web Site – http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1081372.pdf
3. Brookfield, Stephen D. The Skillful Teacher 3rd Edition Jossey Bass 2915
4. Teaching Philosophy – Web Site – http://www.ryerson.ca/content/dam/lt/programs/workshops/teaching-phil2016.pdf
5. A Brief Summary of the Best Practices in College Teaching Web Site http://teaching.uncc.edu/learning-resources/articles-books/best-practice/instructional-methods/bestpractices-summary
6. Communication, Affect and Learning in the Classroom – Web Site – https://archive.org/details/CommunicationAffectAndLearningInTheClassroom
7. Student Motivation, Engagement, and Achievement – Web Site – http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/107034/chapters/Student-Motivation,-Engagement,-andAchievement.aspx