What Is Human Motivation?

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What is human motivation? According to authors Kleinginna & Kleinginna, the definition of motivation is “an internal state or condition (sometimes described as a need, desire, or want) that serves to activate or energize behavior and give it direction” (as cited in Huitt, 2011). As teachers, it is important to be aware that motivation to learn is a “source of diversity” in the classroom. This diversity among students in the classroom can range from students who have no motivation to learn (they are forced to be there because that is the “law”) to students who have the “need/desire/want” motivation to learn. According to Pink, there are two types of behaviors in regards to motivation to learning reflected in our classrooms, there are students who display compliant behaviors while there are other students who display engaged behaviors, “compliant behavior, you 're doing what someone told you to do the way they told you to do it. There 's nothing wrong with that, but it 's different from engagement. With engagement, you 're doing something because you truly want to do it, because you see the virtues of doing it” (as cited in Azzam, 2014). As teachers we need to remember not every student has motivation to learn. Teachers need to understand that it is their responsibility to encourage and/or motivate students’ because it is just important as prior knowledge, ability, and developmental skills in their learning success. There are two sources of motivation. The first source is referred to as extrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is motivation that occurs outside of the student’s self and is driven by external factors. An example of extrinsic motivation is “"if-then" motivators. According to Pink, “if-then” motivators ar... ... middle of paper ... ...nts’ opportunity to learn. There are many ways that teachers can organize and support students whose motivation sources are different. Teachers can use the following ideas to promote intrinsic motivation: allow students some opportunities to select learning goals and task, create and/or maintain curiosity, provide a variety of activities and sensory stimulations, provide games and simulations, set goals for learning, and relate learning to student needs (Huitt, 2011). Teachers can also use the following ideas to promote extrinsic motivation: provide clear expectations, give corrective feedback, provide valuable rewards for simple learning tasks, make rewards available, allow opportunities for students to observe more correct exemplars, allow for opportunities to engage in social learning activities, and provide for scaffolding of corrective feedback (Hitt, 2011).
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