Strategies for Helping Students Motivate Themselves

Larry Ferlazzo posted a blog entry about helping students motivate themselves which can be found here. In his blog entry, he discusses classroom strategies to help reinforce four qualities for improving student motivation: autonomy, competence, relatedness, and relevance. These instructional strategies are summarized below:

  1. Autonomy
  2. Competence
    • Provide feedback while avoiding judgmental language
  3. Relatedness
    • Be genuine
    • Act friendly
    • Be flexible
    • Don’t give up
  4. Relevance
    • Have students write a paragraph after a lesson about what they learned

Of all these strategies, I find improving student competence the most challenging. It is hard to provide feedback in a positive way when the feedback you are giving is negative. I will give some thought to this challenge I have discovered and comment on it in a future blog post.

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About simoncrothers

I am an Australian who moved to British Columbia, Canada with my family in 1998. After completing my undergraduate degree in mathematics and computing science at Simon Fraser University, I moved back to Australia for several years. During this time I completed a Masters in Computational Mathematics and began my teaching career in mathematics at the University of New South Wales. In 2010, I moved back to Canada and taught computer science at Douglas College for three years. I am currently regular faculty in the Computer Business Systems department at KPU. I have also taught some courses in the Business and Quantitative Methods department at KPU. In my spare time I like to spend time with my wife Jami, who I met in Australia, our three year old daughter Lillian, and our newly born son Aiden. I also like to indulge in the occasional video game and I am involved in various self-employed web development projects.
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