Maintaining students’ enthusiasm for school and motivation towards learning is a challenging task for many teachers. Jenkins (2012) found that students’ self-reported enthusiasm for school is about 95 % in kindergarten and drops to 37 % by ninth grade. Enthusiasm recovers to about 40 % in grades 10, 11, and 12. This high school recovery is attributed to students seeing an end to schooling, availability of more elective courses that they may prefer and refl ects only the views of those who remain in school after ninth grade. Jenkins suggests that a major reason for this increasing lack of enthusiasm can be tied to the external reward structure of schools–stickers, popcorn parties, etc. Jenkins argues that these external rewards may work for the short terms, but soon the focus shifts from an enthusiasm to learn to learning tied to outside rewards. When the rewards become mundane, motivation may suffer. Teachers are constantly trying to fi gure out the motivation underlying student behaviors and academic achievement. While one student may be motivated to learn if offered an extrinsic incentive, another student will only be motivated by intrinsic sources of motivation such as the need to achieve or fulfi ll their commitment to others. Although it is generally agreed upon by educators and researchers that “unmotivated” learners do not exist, there are incredible individual differences in the sources and levels of students’ motivation to learn.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)