Chapter 9: Enhancing Motivation and Affect

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Upon completion of this section the learner will:

  • Describe the preconditions to improving motivation and affect in the classroom.
  • Identify techniques for improving and enhancing student motivation and affect.
  • Describe strategies for increasing self-efficacy.
  • Demonstrate the uses of goal setting and attribution training.
  • Discuss strategies for increasing students' personal investment in shared decision making in the classroom.
  • Identify and implement strategies to make learning more fun, exciting, and meaningful.
  • Describe the uses of praise and reward to reinforce students' success in the classroom.
  • Compare and contrast tangible and intangible rewards.

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Part 2: Summary of Ideas

Motivation refers to the degree to which students desire to succeed in school. Affect refers to the students' emotional mood and personal feelings.



Motivation and affect are extremely important variables that can make the difference between success and failure in the classroom. Many students with special needs may benefit particularly from strategies to enhance motivation and affect.

Before implementing specific strategies to enhance motivation and affect, ensure that the necessary preconditions have been met. These preconditions include creating a supportive, well-organized classroom environment; assigning tasks that are meaningful, concrete, relevant, and of the appropriate difficulty level; and creating task-oriented, rather than ego-oriented, classrooms, in which students are reward for effort and improvement, rather than for static variables such as "ability."

Motivation and affect can be improved by engaging in practices to improve students' self-esteem, such as providing positive statements, assigning classroom responsibilities, and use of classroom peers.

Self-efficacy is an important determiner of positive motivation and affect. Students succeed, and believe they will be successful, when provided with additional practice, advance organizers, appropriate social models, and positive support.

Students' motivation and affect improve when they participate in setting goals for themselves and assist in monitoring their progress toward meeting these goals. Contracts and parent involvement can also contribute to personal goal-setting.

Students feel more in control when they learn to attribute their classroom successes or failures to their own behaviors, such as appropriate effort, attitude, or academic/behavioral strategy use. Students can appropriately take credit when they succeed, and identify strategies for improvement when they fail, when they make appropriate attributions.

Students feel more ownership in the classroom when they participate in decision making involving classroom rules and procedures. Use a variety of techniques to receive input from students, and implement positive and helpful suggestions whenever possible.

Students are more motivated to learn when learning is fun and interesting. Use a variety of approaches, media, game-like activities, and peer interactions to prevent classroom learning from becoming monotonous and routine. Express personal enthusiasm in the subjects being covered, and teach with enthusiasm!

Students are motivated to learn when their accomplishments are acknowledged and rewarded. Use positive feedback and praise frequently to demonstrate your positive regard for students' accomplishments. Use rewards, in the form of prizes, privileges, or tokens, when needed to acknowledge achievement and maintain persistence of effort.

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Chapter Activities

Intrinsic motivation refers to participation in an activity purely out of curiosity, desire to succeed, or desire to contribute.




Read Chapter 9 in the text. Use the Chapter 9 Graphic Organizer to "see" the big ideas in the chapter. Fill in blank sections of the graphic organizer. Add the graphic organizer to your class notebook.


Examine the following World Wide Web links and consider their perspectives based on information from Chapter 9. Print out useful information and add it to your class notebook.

Student Motivation to Learn (ERIC Digest)

A Conceptual Framework on Learning Environments and Student Motivation for Language Minority and Other Underserved Populations

The Yuckiest Site on the Internet



Go to the Interactive Area of the class web site and respond to the following question in the Chapter 9 Forum: Please brainstorm motivational techniques that you could use at the grade level you teach/plan to teach at.

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