• Question: I would love your opinions now how to motivate students and build resilience in the classroom?

    Asked by liptrotc17 to Yvonne, Mike, Matt, Matt, Linda, Gaia on 1 Mar 2018.
    • Photo: Matt Dunn

      Matt Dunn answered on 1 Mar 2018:

      It can be hard to find something that works for everyone as far as motivation is concerned, as there are so many different types of students and types of learning. The main aspect of teaching that I see a positive response to is the passion of a teacher, which has a tendency to rub off on the students over the long term. Apart from that, it’d be about reward, such as something simple like writing their name down on the board if they answer a question correctly, and adding a tally to each name as they continue. This is almost a ‘gamification’ of education which many students have responded positively to.

    • Photo: Mike Hobbiss

      Mike Hobbiss answered on 1 Mar 2018:

      There is some interesting work out there on uncertain rewards – i.e. making it less predictable when a reward is coming. This seems to lead to a stronger response to the reward than more predictable rewards. http://www.bristol.ac.uk/education/people/academicStaff/edpahj/publications/mbe_1108.pdf

    • Photo: Gaia Scerif

      Gaia Scerif answered on 1 Mar 2018:

      Peer teaching is a great tool. With younger children it works very well too, very much based on working at scaffolding others.

    • Photo: Yvonne Skipper

      Yvonne Skipper answered on 4 Mar 2018:

      Building resilience is a key part of education but it can be very hard to do. We tend to be more resilient to failure when we feel that we have control. Therefore, it is better for us to see failure as being due to something we have done, rather than something outside of us, e.g. luck, tricky task etc. It is also better if we see failure as something we can control, rather than thinking “well maths just isn’t my thing” it is better if we can encourage children to see that with effort and support they can improve, no matter how good they are now. Research suggests that giving feedback which focuses on efforts and techniques is better than comforting feedback such as “don’t worry, not everyone is good at everything”.
      There is also a teacher I met in the USA who makes a big deal out of failures in a positive way. For example, by drawing attention to a mistake someone has made but where the mistake was actually very logical. For example “Jack made a great ‘whoops’ because he spelled foreign as forIEgn. He used the i before e rule, but foreign is one of the exceptions.” This might not work in all classrooms but does create a space where failures are acceptable.

    • Photo: Linda Baker

      Linda Baker answered on 4 Mar 2018:

      Students respond very positively to having choice in the activities they do in the classroom. Researchers who study motivation identify choice as a powerful motivator at all grade levels. The teacher’s role is to provide what is called “autonomy support.” That is, the teacher provides guidance on the choices students make and supports their efforts to accomplish project goals independently. Pairing choice with peer collaboration increases motivation even more.