Underlying Principles for Increasing Student Motivation and Improving Behaviour

Two weeks ago and in one of the professional development sessions in our school “ABHSS”, I presented a very important topic entitled “Underlying Principles for Increasing Student Motivation and Improving Behaviour“. In the workshop I tackled the following:

Classroom Relationships

  • Relationships in the classroom have an impact on achievement.
  • For quality learning to happen, teaching must serve the academic and emotional needs of the students.
  • Students are motivated when teachers treat them like people.

Five Relationships of Students

  • Student and Themselves
  • Student and their Peers
  • Student and their Teachers
  • Students and their Parents
  • Students and the Curriculum

The Six Standards Framework

1. Safety is Paramount

  • For students to learn, they must feel safe from both physical danger and
  • Fear of physical harm and fear of embarrassment often have the same effect. Students should not have to worry about a lack of skills or of being
    exposed to embarrassment.

Classroom Implications

  • No put downs for students
  • Eliminate sarcasm or humour at students expense
  • Clear rules and expectations with respect to physical behaviour in the classroom

2. Value Everything

  • Students are more apt to engage fully and produce quality work if they perceive that what they are doing has value
  • All activities and studies must fill a need; solve a problem; or be interesting, fun, or enjoyable.

Classroom Implications

  • Base the context of studies around students’ interests
  • Show and tell the students that you value them.
  • Provide chances for students to share their work.

3. Success Breeds Success

  • Motivate students by reminding them when they have been successful.

Classroom Implications

  • Provide activities that are challenging yet achievable
  • Provide regular ‘feedback’ with a focus on celebrating success and efforts
  • Provide ‘feed forward’ identifying areas for improvement

4. Student Involvement and Ownership

  • Give students opportunities to be involved with their learning.
  • Students who ‘own’ their learning, progress further

Classroom Implications

  • Allow for students to give feedback on activities, topics, assessment, etc
  • ‘Listen’ to the students in and out of the class
  • Have students play a role in setting criteria for assessment and evaluating their own work as well as their peers

5. Care for the Students Academic and Personal Needs

  • Students respond positively to being liked, being supported and accepted

Classroom Implications

  • Provide positive feedback and productive feedback in advance
  • Give leadership responsibilities to all
  • Give students opportunities to evaluate their own work as well as their peers’

6. Enable and Empower Students to Achieve

  • Teachers must provide students with tasks that allow them to think, problem solve and learn

Classroom Implications

  • Teachers need to ‘think out aloud’
  • Create open ended problems
  • Instigate small group activities

The Key to Success…. ….
Integrate all the Standards

  • The practices we have just discussed should not be introduced one at a time
  • All of these practices should be happening at the same time

You can download the presentation of this workshop here.


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