A study by Skinner et al. (1993) explored teacher involvement on student motivation within a classroom. Children’s motivation could be predicted based on the teachers autonomy support. Skinner et al. (1993) goes on to highlight the importance of positive relationships and communication between pupils and teachers. Despite these positive findings it is also noted pupils that are displaying disengaging behaviour, received poor teacher responses which will only continue, to weaken the pupil motivation. There are three key areas identified that dramatically increase pupil’s motivation and therefore interaction with learning, these being choice, personalization and contextualization.
Both extrinsic and intrinsic motivational strategies nearly always become the forefront of every lesson. “To be motivated means to be moved to do something” (Ryan, 2000). Therefore, if a pupil feels no inspiration to complete a task they are deemed as unmotivated. Without the children feeling inspired, we cannot expect them to produce inspiring work as a result. Research has discovered that extrinsic rewards on behaviours that children have already expressed interest in, can cause a phenomenon called the overjustification effect, resulting in children becoming disinterested (Lepper, 1973). Research from Leeper et al. (1973) with similarly aged children supported this hypothesis. He discovered that children sometimes engage in behaviours that seem to be ends in themselves, compared to being means to an outcome. These result in enjoyment, satisfaction and feelings of interest; actions stimulated from intrinsic motivations (Sansone et al., 2000). Gottfried’s (1990) research on primary aged pupils and intrinsic motivation showed that children have strong intrinsic motivation from an early age and they will continue to enhance throughout the years. He believed that intrinsic motivations have a significant impact on children’s education. Deci (1971) discovered through research with primary aged pupils that extrinsic rewards can diminish intrinsic motivations. By contrast, Deci discovered that positive verbal praise enhances intrinsic motivations. Making continuous positive praise (where deserved) so important. Oldfather et al. (1994) concurred when he stated that children are at the forefront of the classroom. He believed their feedback of what makes them motivated, should always considered. If children feel heard, they feel important. Resulting in their motivations increasing within the classroom.
Wragg et al. (1984) gave an insightful metaphor about manufacturers of soap powder not hesitating to release customer reviews of the product. Listening to pupil’s voices and opinions can be a transformational experience in establishing a successful relationship between child and teacher. Making the overall learning experience more successful and enjoyable.