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.

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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

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