The Center on Education Policy in the US offers a series of papers that examines topics related to pupils’ academic motivation. The summary paper, Student Motivation: An Overlooked Piece of School Reform, summarises findings from a wide array of studies by academics in a range of disciplines, as well as lessons from programmes intended to increase motivation.
Topics include: why motivation is important and how it might be defined and measured; whether rewarding pupils can result in higher motivation; whether pupils can be motivated by goal-setting; the role of parental involvement, family background, and culture; strategies schools might use to motivate pupils; and non-traditional approaches to motivating otherwise unenthusiastic pupils.
A few of the many suggestions that the authors offer for schools to consider are:
- Programmes that reward academic accomplishments are most effective when they reward pupils for mastering certain skills or increasing their understanding rather than rewarding them for reaching a performance target or outperforming others.
- Tests are more motivating when pupils have an opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge through low-stakes tests, performance tasks, or frequent assessments that gradually increase in difficulty before they take a high-stakes test.
Source:S tudent Motivation: An overlooked piece of school reform (2012), Center on Education Policy