Intrinsic Motivation Decreases With Academic Progress Education Essay

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1. Discuss reasons that intrinsic motivation might decrease as children progress academically. Are there ways to counter this change? How does extrinsic motivation vary developmentally? Why is this knowledge important?

Why intrinsic motivation decreases with academic progress

Intrinsic motivation is motivation which is inherent and comes from an individual and achievement of a task as opposed to external influence. Intrinsic motivation enables students achieve high performance through motivation which comes from within them. This form of motivation may decrease as children develop due to various reasons.

One reason is that as children develop, they meet challenges which may distract them from academic activities. These challenges include peer pressure, drug abuse, sexual activities and others. There are also a lot of changes in their physical bodies and emotional state. These changes may distract them from academic performance and hence reduction of intrinsic motivation. Another factor which may reduce intrinsic motivation as children develop is the presence of extrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation has been seen to reduce intrinsic motivation since it encourages students to expect rewards for good performance. When such rewards are not present, this may reduce their motivation levels and hence intrinsic motivation.

Ways to counter the change

There are various ways in which reduction in intrinsic motivation can be restored. The first is through effective socialization of children. When children are raised up to adhere to certain morals and ethical conduct, they are aware of what is important in their lives and they are not easily distracted. Such children are aware that academic performance will have a significant impact in their future lives and they are likely to have intrinsic motivation to perform well academically. Another way in which intrinsic motivation can be restored is through counseling. As teenagers are faced with challenges during adolescence, they require guidance on how to overcome the various challenges which they face. Counseling is one way of providing this guidance. When teenagers are counseled, they become aware of how to deal with their challenges and they are likely to concentrate on academic activities and developing intrinsic motivation.

How extrinsic motivation varies with development

Extrinsic motivation is a form of motivation which arises out of external sources. It does not arise from an individual, but rather, external influence is used to motivate an individual. External motivation may arise from rewards such as money, praise, recognition and others. However, this form of motivation varies with age and development due to certain factors. The first factor is needs of children and teenagers. The rewards used to motivate children and teenagers are different and they change as they grow older. Children may be motivated by candy, praise or stickers whereas teenagers are motivated by money, video games and other incentives. This means that the intrinsic motivators should match the needs of the person being motivated hence it varies with development.

Another factor which causes extrinsic motivation to change with development is brain development. Extrinsic motivation may be ineffective as children grow up due to their mental development. When a child is rewarded for good performance, she or he repeats the behavior in order to receive the reward without questioning the motives of the reward process. However, as children grow up and become teenagers, they begin evaluating the system of rewards and weighing it against their personal goals and interests. In case the extrinsic motivation is not consistent with their interests and goals, it is likely to have a lesser effect on their behavior. The guardians and parents are therefore forced to develop new ways of motivating their children.

Importance of this knowledge

Knowledge of intrinsic and extrinsic forms of motivation is very important to different members of the society. In order for children's healthy development, both extrinsic and intrinsic forms of motivation should be used. At a young age, knowledge of intrinsic motivation is important in motivating children to pursue academic excellence and perform desirable behavior. Knowledge of extrinsic motivation is also important in motivating adolescents to perform well academically and to exhibit acceptable behavior in the society. Since there are certain shortfalls of these forms of motivation, and also due to the fact that their effectiveness varies with age, knowledge of these factors can enable parents, guardians and teachers to exploit both forms of motivation to achieve desired results.

2. Imagine that you are developing a behavior modification plan for a child with autism. What kinds of rewards would you give? Why? What would your criteria be for distributing rewards? Why? Would your system include taking away tokens or stickers? Why? Would there be any other elements to your plan?

Rewards given and criteria for distribution

Rewards are very effective in influencing the desirable behavior among autistic children. When giving rewards, I would use sticker charts since in many cases, autism affects visual needs of children. For a reward system to be implemented at home, I would use sticker charts to reward the child anytime she or he sit down and eat. When the stickers fill up a row, then this would be rewarded by going to eat out in restaurants. The child would be well informed about the reward and it would be placed at the dinner table. The expected behavior would be discussed before the meal so that the autistic child would easily understand the expectations of her or him. The expected behavior would include proper use of utensils, eating while seated, use of polite words and others.

I would also use tickets and behavior bucks for proper behavior at home and school. Behavior bucks are little sums of money given when the autistic child performs desirable behavior. Once these sums have reached a certain limit, they can be used to purchase a reward. Tickets are cards which are given whenever the autistic child performs desirable behavior. These cards would then be used to perform special activities with the child such as riding bikes, watching movies, playing games and others.

Taking away tokens

My system would not include taking away stickers or tokens for negative behavior by the autistic child. This is due to the reason that autism is a disorder which may make the child incapable of making certain judgments regarding the expected behavior. The child may forget and commit an undesirable behavior, due to the disorder they have. Taking away stickers and tokens may de-motivate them, and they may lose an interest with the reward system altogether. Instead of punishing them, having a slow and firm talk with them should be able to make the child view the negative aspects of their behavior.

Other elements

Another element which would be integrated into the behavior modification plan is the use of praise. Praise has a positive impact on motivation for most children. This is because it builds self esteem and confidence of recipients. I would use praise whenever the autistic child exhibits desirable behavior and I would follow this with the presentation of a reward, mostly an edible such as a cookie she or he loves. This will encourage the child to behave as expected.

3. Discuss how and why use of effective reinforcements might vary developmentally.

Effective reinforcement is the achieving of desirable behavior through rewarding good behavior and encouraging its repetition. Effective reinforcement involves rewarding desirable behavior in order to encourage its performance. However, as children grow older, some forms of effective reinforcement become ineffective due to certain factors associated with their development. These factors and their impact on children's behavior will be briefly discussed below;

Brain development

The first reason why effective reinforcement may be ineffective as children grow up is mental development of a person. When a child is rewarded for good performance, she or he repeats the behavior in order to receive the reward without questioning the motives of the reward process. However, as children grow up and become teenagers, they begin evaluating the system of rewards and weighing it against their personal goals and interests. Teenagers are no longer guided by rewards and their behavior is guided by peer pressure, personal needs, environment and many other factors. They question the reward process and if they view it not to be genuine, they dismiss the process and act as they wish. The guardians and parents are therefore forced to develop new ways of motivating their children.

Needs of children and teenagers

Effective reinforcement also varies according to development levels due to differences between needs of teenagers and children. Children are easily coerced and rewards such as candy, stickers and others easily motivate them. However, teenagers have different needs and rewards which motivate them include videogames, money, books, clothes and others. When society is using positive reinforcement, it is therefore forced to change the mode of reinforcement to suit the needs of the target group in order for the reinforcement to be effective. Positive reinforcement changes and accommodates the needs of teenagers, which are different from those of children. This is another reason why positive reinforcement may vary with development.

Negative reinforcement

Effective reinforcement may need to be replaced with negative reinforcement as the child grows older. When children grow older and reach the teenage age or adulthood, they become mature individuals who are capable of making rational decisions. Positive reinforcement does not play a major role in their lives since they are aware of the consequences of their actions. In such cases, negative reinforcement becomes necessary for achieving desirable behavior. Teenagers and adults are aware of what is expected of them, and once they perform negative acts such as crime, negative reinforcement through punishment becomes the most effective method of changing their behavior. Positive reinforcement therefore needs to be replaced with negative reinforcement as soon as children and teenagers are aware of the consequences of their actions or if they commit serious crimes which require deterrence.

4. How does praise affect motivation? Discuss three effective ways to increase a student's motivation and academic performance using praise. Describe use of praise which would be less effective.

Praise and motivation

Praise has a positive impact on motivation for most children. This is because it builds self esteem and confidence of recipients. For many children, praise reinforces good behavior and social skills. When children perform good behavior and they are praised, they learn to repeat such forms of behavior so that they may experience praise from their parents, friends, guardians and teachers. When praise in sincere and is awarded for behavior children have the power to change, it can positively influence the child to behave in socially accepted behavior.

However, it is equally important to note that praise may also have negative impacts on children and adolescents. When adolescents grow older, they are able to deduce the motivation behind the praise awarded to them. They can tell whether the praise awarded is genuine and whether the activity performed will improve their individual welfare. When teenagers perceive praise awarded as insincere, they will ignore the praise and act in the interests they deem will improve individual welfare. Praise is also less effective in some of the scenarios which will be later discussed.

Increasing students' motivation using praise

One way of increasing motivation using praise is through the use of verbal praise. This is a form praise given verbally as a show of appreciation for a job well done. Teachers usually use verbal praise when other students are present in order to encourage the receiver of praise to maintain good behavior and to encourage the rest of the students to strive to achieve desirable behaviors or achievements. Students who did not participate in the classroom can change if praised for contributing to classroom activities.

Another way of increasing classroom motivation is through the use of peer praise. This is praise which awarded amongst students for good performance. When students are encouraged to praise each other after performing well, they are likely to perform better since children are more likely to identify with praise from peers than praise from teachers as they grow up.

Finally, praise can also be expressed in writing. When students perform well, their teachers should praise them in writing either in remarks on the answer booklets or performance reports. They may also strategically place written praise for good performance on notice boards or other places where they are visible within the school environment. This form of praise is very effective since written praise can be shown to parents at home or peers, and this boosts the confidence of the performer.

When praise is less effective

In order for praise to be effective in increasing a child's motivation, it should be channeled towards traits which the child can change. This means that praise should be used if the child has the ability to change behavior and perform desirable behavior. There are certain traits or behaviors which children do not have control over. This may be due to a disability, their immaturity or environment. Parents and guardians should recognize these traits and seek alternative ways of making children alter them. When an adult praises a child for something they are unable to change, this may negatively affect the child since they are unable to change it. It may lead to a negative perception of praise for the child, and she or he may disregard the motivation of praise even when they are in a position to change a behavior.

Another situation where praise may be less effective is in situations where praise is awarded for easily accomplished feats or challenges. Parents and teachers should be careful to award praise for activities which are relatively challenging to achieve in order for the child to view praise as special and worthy. When a child is praised for easily achieved accomplishments they may take praise for granted and it may lose its meaning on a child. The child may also limit her or his potential by being an average achiever as a result.