What makes students unmotivated

sofatutor magazine Teacher

Recognizing and solving a motivation problem in students is not easy. We give some tips for teachers.

How do you recognize the “no-go student”?

Regardless of the gender of the child, the “zero-minded student” knows how to avoid completing the task in every possible way. Whether during class or as homework - this student is highly motivated not to do anything for school. Often these children show great potential in tests and exams, but their participation in class leaves much to be desired. They refuse to do the task or rather ask: “What do we have to do this for?” They like to pull themselves out of the affair when it comes to group work. You give up at the first sign of a challenge and, unfortunately, get away with it far too often.

Change thinking

There are two ways to help a “no-brainer” pupil jump over his own shadow and discard ritualized behaviors: You can change the child's thinking in a positive way to show that making an effort actually does something . Or you try to find out which things really motivate him or her: Change the structure, structure or sequence of a lesson scenario in such a way that the student can deal with it and that his or her attention is encouraged. The American child psychologist Ken Shore has worked out some tips on how you can motivate unmotivated students again.

Free access for teachers

Here's how you can do it:

Break the ritual: Unmotivated students usually no longer have an inner drive to be successful and to face a task. So set tasks that give you the feeling that you have achieved something. Start with a task with easy examples that can motivate you to keep going. Correct without criticizing. Communicate that mistakes are a part of learning. Try to strengthen the self-confidence of the "zero-minded student" so that he or she trusts himself more in the future.

Give different tasks to choose from: If the students can choose for themselves which task to work on, they are more motivated in the matter. The type of processing, e.g. B. at a presentation or what a reward might look like, can be a decision that motivates the "zero-minded student" to take on the task.

Include the child's interests: Find out what the student likes and relate your question to this interest. You can ask the child to demonstrate his or her hobby during the lesson and thus playfully inspire the topic.

Relate the lesson to everyday issues: Similar to the previous tip, you can go into the child's world here. Which situations do you know from the life of the pupil that can be used as an example for a lesson or a task? In this way you will quickly find an answer to the questions why you have to do that.

Divide large tasks into smaller intermediate steps: If the task at hand seems too complex or extensive, it can be demotivating even before the child has even started. First teach how it can break down the task into small intermediate steps so that it can then move from one step to the next more easily. It can also make sense to reduce or simplify the number of tasks in order to first strengthen the motivation and self-confidence of the “no-go student” before the child can offer complete and complex solutions.



Teach differently: Try hands-on lessons or go on field trips. Allow your students to move around the room during the lesson, find new seating positions or simply teach upside down. This also changes the perspective for the unmotivated student.

Celebrate the student's individual successes: Even if the “no-brainer” student is probably to blame for the fact that the school performance is not the best, you shouldn't hold that against him. This would also demotivate the student and reinforce his or her behavior. Instead, you can be positive about the child's small, individual achievements. Try to visualize a positive development for the student as well. This gives the “no-brainer” student the right motivation to get ahead.

Do you have any other tips you'd like to share? Write us a comment!

Cover picture: © PhotoMediaGroup / shutterstock.com

More related articles

sofatutor for the whole school: this is how it works with financing

Equal opportunities for everyone: if the entire school learns with sofatutor, it has many advantages. But how can licenses for all students be financed? Here four schools report on their solutions. School licenses from sofatutor ideally give all students in a school access to the more than 10,000 learning videos, the more than 44,000 [...]

Free Workshop: Strengthening Teachers' Health

Teachers in Germany have been working in a state of emergency for more than a year. Homeschooling, changing classes, wearing a mask and keeping your distance - all of this is very stressful. The Federal Association for Digital Education is therefore offering a webinar on the subject of resilience. Resilience can be learned Corona has turned the school system on its head and shaken it vigorously once. That applies [...]

Simon Hermsdorf: "This is the next level"

As a technology teacher at the Fintauschule secondary school, Simon Hermsdorf is enthusiastic about applications that enable his students to experience theoretical concepts. After the first test runs, he was enthusiastic about LEGO® Education SPIKE Prime. Mr. Hermsdorf, three of your students recently unboxed a LEGO® Education SPIKE ™ Prime set in a professional unboxing video. How many sets are there [...]

"The teacher ends the video chat - no one else!"

We will soon be living for a year with the changes that the corona pandemic brought with it. Woman with class reports (again) from the home office and also takes on the supposed experts who always know everything better. Regular operation as if nothing happened What happened in the schools after the first lockdown in March 2020? It [...]

33 teachers give tips for hybrid teaching

Digital media gained a huge boost in importance during the early phase of the corona pandemic. But how can teachers and students now deal productively and sustainably with the knowledge gained? Teacher Tim Kantereit collected ideas and suggestions. The problem: School is changing too slowly Many institutions - schools, teachers, the [...]

Bradley Davies: “My favorite class? - Every hour in which I am allowed to do something new! "

As a primary school teacher at the bilingual Kämmer International School, Bradley Davies uses LEGO® Education to make his pupils' eyes shine. You learn programming early on and can use it realistically with WeDo2.0. Note: The interview was conducted in English and then translated into German. Mr. Davies, can you [...]

8 indoor games for breaks - with exercise, fun and distance

Rain, frost and social distancing due to Corona can mean that students have to spend their break in the classroom. So that the children don't just sit bored in the corner, we have put together entertaining break games for you - for every grade level. Why playing together is so important in times of Corona Break games and [...]

Protection against corona? - Nope, but here is a ventilation concept!

The warm summer days are over and, as expected, autumn brings unsightly twists and turns. The number of new infections is increasing, many people are going back to the home office, but regular operations continue at school. A woman with class finds some honest words for this situation. Back to school fun with a mask Yesterday the autumn holidays ended and for [...]

STEM funding: "Using the practical to teach the theory"

Tanja Zellner loves trying things out and discovering. She works in the STEM promotion in Lower Bavaria and uses LEGO® Education to bring children closer to their fascination and to strengthen their interest in technical careers. Tanja Zellner is part of the “MINT Funding” team at TH Deggendorf. There she offers workshops for teachers and extracurricular programs that help children and young people [...]