Laurel Krokstrom joined us to talk about motivation. She has a M.M. in trumpet performance from the University of Southern California, a M.A. in musicology from CSULA and is a doctoral student in Educational Psychology at the University of South Dakota.
What is motivation?
Laurel believes academic motivation is very important in K12 settings. It affects cognition and academic achievement.
Internal motivation comes from the student – they really love to do something like playing a musical instrument and the will do it whether someone asks them to or not.
External motivation is where you have ‘external prodding’ from a teacher, parent or peer who offer incentives to encourage the student to practice a musical instrument, for example.
Originally a lot of teachers used external motivation but now more and more research is showing that internal motivation is the way to go and makes for a much happier classroom.
This is one of the latest motivation theories which Laurel has used. It states that students who expect to do well in a certain subject – who expect to succeed – will do really well.
There is a simple tool associated with this theory. Students rate how well they think they would do and how much they value the topic on a scale of 1 to 10. When these figures are multiplied together, they produce a rating of how likely it is that the student will compete a set assignment.
This can apply to any subject.
If you understand what motivates your students, particularly their internal motivation, then you can use this to inform everything you do with them.
Brandon remembers giving out surveys to his classes to try to find out what their interests and motivations are. This helped him to understand the motivation of each of his students and helped him to help them to have the most enjoyment and fulfilment out of the activities he planned.
So Brandon believes we can observe students to find out their motivations but we can also ask.