• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Children learn in a variety of ways. Why are some more successful as learners than others?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Children learn in a variety of ways. Why are some more successful as learners than others? Before considering why some children are more successful than other it is important to establish what success is with respect to learning. The Government has set targets for schools to educate their pupils so that they are able to attain five good (A*-C including English and Mathematics) GCSEs or that a pupil's progress is at a rate of 2 sub levels a year. There are many other ways in which you could describe a successful learner, so in this essay the term successful learner shall be considered in relation to the Governments targets; achieving five good GCSEs or progressing at the expected rate of 2 sub levels a year. This essay will consider the effect of motivation on pupils' learning. Given the long tradition of motivational research, we would expect to find some well-established models that have stood the test of time, along with some solid, theoretically sound educational recommendations to help us improve the effectiveness of our teaching. This, unfortunately, is not the case. In fact, the current state of motivation research could hardly be further from this expectation: contemporary motivational psychology is characterised by a confusing plethora of competing theories, with little consensus and much disagreement among researchers. In fact, we can say without much risk of exaggeration that 'motivation' is one of the most elusive concepts in the whole domain of the social sciences. Motivation theories attempt to explain nothing less than why people behave and think as they do, and human nature being as complex as it is, there are simply no cut and dried answers to be offered. Many early views linked motivation with inner forces: instincts, traits, volition, and will. Behavioural (conditioning) theories view motivation as an increased or continual level of responding to stimuli brought about by reinforcement (reward). Contemporary cognitive views postulate that individuals' thoughts, beliefs, and emotions influence motivation. ...read more.

Middle

A third motivational index is persistence, or time spent on a task. Students motivated to learn are more likely to persist, especially when they encounter obstacles. Persistence is important because much learning takes time and success may not readily occur. Persistence relates directly to the sustaining feature of motivation, and greater persistence leads to higher accomplishments. Persistence is commonly used by researchers as a measure of motivation. Zimmerman and Ringle (1981) had children observe a model unsuccessfully attempt to solve a puzzle for either a long or short time while verbalizing statements of confidence or pessimism, after which children attempted to solve the puzzle themselves. Children who observed the high-persistent model worked longer on the task than the children exposed to the low-persistent model, and children who observed the confident model persisted longer than those who observed the pessimistic model. As with effort, the usefulness of persistence as a motivational measure is limited by skill level. As students' skills improve, they should be able to perform well in less time. Persistence is most meaningful during learning and when students encounter obstacles. Finally, student achievement may be viewed as an index of motivation. Students who choose to engage in a task, expend effort and persist are likely to achieve at higher levels (Pintrich & Schrauben, 1992; Schunk, 1995). Many research studies obtain positive relations between achievement and motivational indexes of choice, effort and persistence (Pintrich, 2003). Schunk (1983a) found that the more arithmetic problems children completed during class sessions (which reflected effort and persistence), the more problems they solved correctly on the posttest (a measure of achievement). Dweck (2000) writes about, 'four beliefs and four truths about ability success, praise and confidence' and how they interact to promote adaptive motivation. Dweck (2000) talks about students who are highly skilled are worried about failure, and the most likely to question their ability and to wilt when they hit obstacles. ...read more.

Conclusion

When children who have not experienced difficult problems in mathematics encounter a problem that cannot be solved in a routine fashion, they may have their confidence shattered unless they believe that occasional mistakes are a part of learning mathematics. In conclusion, motivation is of great importance to education, yet it remains an elusive topic. Many interactions have been discovered between level of motivation and achievement. Each individual is motivated differently and their level of motivation can be influenced by many external factors. What teachers need to be aware of the different models of motivation, for instance the attribution theory, a teacher can attribute a pupil's success to stable factors such as ability and failings to changeable factors such as effort, and therefore in future the pupil will know they can be a successful learner if they work harder. However educators will have to be careful not to tell a low achieving pupil to work harder who is already working hard, as they will then feel incapable and attribute their failure to their ability. This could lead to the pupil being disengaged from their learning. Motivation affects all classroom activities because it can influence learning of new behaviours and performance of previously learnt behaviours. Learning and performance are related in a reciprocal fashion to motivation because motivation can affect learning and behaviour and one's learning and action as can influence subsequent task motivation. It needs to be taken into consideration that for each individual there are other variables outside of motivation which will also affect their progress as learners; Special Educational Needs, teaching models, family support and many others. Some thought needs to be taken with these variables when assessing successful learners and relating their success to motivation as it is will never be the case where motivation is the only enforcer. Although many research theories about motivation contradict each other, a learner who is persistent and perseveres in the face of adversity is likely to be a successful learner, as learning tends to require sustained physical or mental effort. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Teaching section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Teaching essays

  1. Case study on children behavior

    When he does become enraged or upset he will put is head in his arms when he is sitting at his desk or he will throw a jacket over his head so no one can see him. Travis's crying is also always silent so no one can hear him as well.

  2. Learning Theories - The theories of learning through the models behaviourally, cognitively and humanistically ...

    The teacher should supply intrinsic rewards to learning to motivate a child to want to learn more. The teacher needs to awaken the desire in a child to learn more. Modelling several different behaviours are a good way to help the humanistic learner.

  1. Choose a named intervention and consider the research evidence for its effectiveness. Then ...

    we felt no reluctance in doing so. Visual Schedules The use of visual schedules have long been in use throughout education. These usually take the form of written timetables which focus the pupil's attention on their daily classes. The most common types of schedules in the TEACCH approach are objects,

  2. Working at a high school: a teacher's perspective

    complexities of tasks to be quite draining on their time and energy, they even claim that they would not encourage anyone to teach because of the stress generated from their roles. By personal observation, senior teachers very often choose to pass off those extra duties to the junior staff members

  1. Errors and Misconceptions

    According to Hopkins et al (1996) "There are many forms of written methods of subtraction and children should be encouraged to use the ones they understand" p.61. Another method to help David may be to go back to horizontal calculations, this way of writing the sum may not lead him

  2. Discuss the relevance of attribution theory to educational psychology.

    Thus, a child who performs well on a particular test may attribute their success to ability (internal cause) but attribute failure on the test to the test being difficult or to poor teaching (external cause). In contrast, research on the attributional thinking of children with learning difficulties suggests that these

  1. An understanding of the main theories of learning and the key factors that influence ...

    Pragmatist, take a practical view to tasks, getting straight to the point, giving proof for their ideas, David shows tendencies towards this area on rare occasions. Cotton (1995) believes that "All four areas are needed if the learner is to reach the aim of autononomy in learning"...

  2. EXAMINE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF INCLUSIVE EDUCATION FOR THE 5- 19 YEAR OLD CHILDREN WITH ...

    in England by noting that historically, mainstream schools have always been prepared to exclude children who were seen to be different from other children. This segregation was legitimised by the early development of psychological testing and assessment techniques. The techniques according to Taylor et al (1990, 163)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work