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Motivational Learning Theories and Their Application

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Teaching
Wordcount: 2634 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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Topic: – Using a theoretical focus, what motivates students to learn? Give examples of how motivational learning theories can be put into practice.

1. Introduction

Motivation acts as a major responsibility in the life of every human being. The statement ‘motivation’ has its own power that it pushes someone to do something in the life to achieve different things that a person wants in his life. Moreover, motivation has its own spark in the field of education that pushed students to achieve their goals. According to Kuh (2003),” Motivation as well be present as learning appointment and the moment or power that students dedicate to their educationally noise activities in and out of the classroom, and the policies and practices that educational institutes use to encourage students to participate in these activities” (pp. 24- 24).There are different types of motivation that helps students to learn better about the concepts of learning. These are extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation.”’ Extrinsic Motivation’, it is an exterior kind of inspiration which revenue that an individual brain is positioned to carry out a little bit in the expectation to get an incentive or not as much of positivity regarding the outcome”. For instance, a learner’s performance is provoked outwardly when his plan towards reading a book is to just pass the examination. “‘Intrinsic Motivation’, it is a domestic sort of enthusiasm which means a human being is doing something by his internal emotion and also his aim is to study something from the task. For example, a scholar action is forced on the inside when he is doing exercise to turn out to be fit and also did this job to reduce his pressure (Merriam, S. B, & Bierema, L. L., 2014, p. 147)”. I also explained the factors and motivational theories that motivate students to learn and can be put into practice in the subsequent paragraphs.

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2. Explanation of theories that motivate students to learn and can be put into practice

Motivation theories are divided into two different theories. These are content and process motivation theories. Content theories have their center of attention on the factors, while process theories focus on HOW these factors are implemented to motivate an individual performance towards learning. In the office environment, the former one had the most impact on the administrating practice while in the learning atmosphere it had the less impact. These theories are also called needs theories .These theories constantly trying to discover our desires and narrate with stimulus to accomplish these. Process theories are worried by means of how impetus occurs and what variety of progression can manipulate our inspiration. Content and process theories are further divided into four theories that motivate students.

2.1. Content Theories

There are four main content theories: Maslow’s needs hierarchy, Alderfer’s ERG theory, McClelland’s achievement motivation and Herzberg’s two- factor theory.

2.1.1. Maslow – hierarchy of needs

This is the most commonly hypothesis of motivation, developed by Abraham Maslow in the 1940s and 1950s.This theory recapitulate desires into five categories. Maslow locate these requirements in his pecking order, begin with the essential emotional wants and ongoing in the course of security, belonging and love, self – actualization. His theory is often shown in the structure of pyramid: fundamental needs at the base and the most complex wishes are at the top. He himself has not at all drawn a pyramid to illustrate these levels of needs but this pyramid turn out to be the most recognized method to signify his chain of command.

According to Maslow hierarchy of needs, psychological needs include vital desires for a person to survive such as air, water and food. Maslow( 1968) thought that “if these needs are not fulfilled then body and mind cannot function well. If these needs are well contented then new needs will appear, called safety needs. Safety needs refers to a person’s desire for security or protection. Off springs have a bigger want to experience safe. These securities needs include: private safety, economic protection, well – being, accidents, sickness and their unfavorable impacts. After mental and security requirements, the care, love and belongingness needs come into reputation. The next stage is esteem means respect for a person as a useful, admirable human being. Maslow divided two types of esteem needs: a lower version and a higher version. The lower version of esteem is the need for respect from others and the higher version of esteem is the need for self – respect. After this self – actualization comes which reflects an individual’s desire to grow and develop to his/her fullest potential. The popularity of this theory of motivation rooted in its simplicity and logic. (Merriam, Sharon B., Bierema, Laura L.(2013), pp. (87 – 88)).

2.1.2. Alderfer’s ERG Theory

The ERG theorey depends on the postponement Maslow’s hierarchy of different types of utilities Alder after different type of confidential requirements into three different categories, somewhat than five. These needs are existence, understanding and growth. Existence needs are like Maslow’s biological and security needs. Understanding needs include relational relationships and are like aspects of Maslow’s belongingness and regard needs. Growth needs are those which are connected to the accomplishment of one’s probable and are linked with Maslow’s approval and self – actualization needs. This theory is different from hierarchy needs of theory.This is also a very elastic theory.

2.1.3. McClelland – Need for achievement, affiliation and power

McClelland’s theory differs from Maslow’s and Alderfer’s, which focus on satisfying existing needs rather than creating or developing other needs. This theory suggests that human beings learn needs from their culture and life experiences. These three are: achievement, affiliation and power. If an individual has to make connections with other human beings then he has the requirement for affiliation. The require for power has a aspiration to manage one’s surroundings and persuade others. The want for accomplishment has a wish to acquire accountability, situate goals and get routine response. The most important point of the educated necessitate theories is that when one of these requirements is strong in a person, it has the potential to motivate behavior that leads to its satisfaction.

2.1.4. Two factor theory 

This theory is named as hygiene theory. This theory is developed by Frederick Herzberg and based on his research, he argues that meeting with the basic needs of individuals would not motivate them to do efforts but if individuals met the high level needs then they would be motivated. According to Hackman and Oldham (1976),” individuals who have a high need for growth are motivated by the actual responsibilities of a job” (pp. 46 – 47).

2.2. Cognitive theories

Decision taken by individuals as an explanation of motivation has been explicated by the process theories of motivation. The focus of this theory is mainly finding out how human actions are animated, heading for and maintained in individual cognitive process. The most important progression theories of inspiration are expectation theory, justice theory, goal – setting theory and back up theory.

2.2.1. Expectancy theory

This theory is also called instrumentality theory that suggests that individuals are doing instrumentality activities for getting rewarded outputs. Unlike the need theories that create tension, instrumental theories focus on individual’s expectations receiving a valued reward so sometimes, these theories are also nown as expectancy theory. According to Atkinson (1964),” commitment in attainment leaning performance is a job not only of the motivation for achievement, but also of the possibility of victory and the inducement rate of sensation.” 

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2.2.2. Goal – setting theory 

To discuss about the motivation behavior, the expectancy theory is often related with goal – setting theory, which suggests that individual’s goals are closely related with performance. After many research, Locke and colleagues concluded that “goal setting and performance are linked and goals influence performance by focusing awareness and achievement and motivating the developmental strategies. Another factor that is related to goal setting theory is self – efficacy, which is the faith of humans that he or she can fruitfully absolute a duty if persons have a high stage of self efficacy, they are probable to react more optimistically to demanding goals rather than if they have a low scale of self efficacy (Zimmerman, B. J., 2000, pp. 82 – 91).

2.2.3. Equity theory

Equity theory is characterized by a algebraic relative amount of inputs to outputs. Inputs consist of capability, individuality qualities, and skills anything that contributes to work setting. Outcomes contain performance, admire, money anything that consequences that individual perceives as having personal value. Also, it is important for teachers to have an idea about student’s goals so that they can provide them material that results better outcomes.

2.2.4. Back up theory

This theory follows the similar path to do the work of the great behaviorist B.F. Skinner. It is considered a motivation theory as well as learning theory. This theory explains that there is no need to study cognitive process to understand motivation but it is also necessary to examine the consequences of behavior.On the conceptual front, Scott raised the question “of whether the terms “intrinsic” and “extrinsic” belong to the task or the individual”(Merriam, S. B., & Bierema, L. L. (2014), pp. 26 – 28).

3. Another factors that motivates students to learn

3.1. Encourage students

Encouragement is very necessary in students that push them to learn.Teachers should encourage students to do open communication with them and always tried to boost the confidence level of students so that they can feel themselves important. Teachers should always do praising of students because by getting returning compliments from their teachers they will become more confident and they will become more powerful to learn new things from others.

3.2. Participation in classroom activities

Participation is most important in the classrooms that motivate students to learn. Teachers have to give a job to each student in the classroom like give them duty of tidying up or decorating the classroom and appreciate them to do well.This activity will show the ability of students to complete a task which has been assigned by the teacher. Moreover, this activity also describes the sharpness of student’s mind that how they use their mind to finish the task and also by doing this type of activity, teachers get to know about student’s activeness towards completion of task that how active the student is.

3.3. Be creative

Teachers should do the creative activities in the classroom to motivate their students to learn new things and enhance knowledge. Teachers should arrange games and discussions instead of lectures to teach their students and also encourage students to do debate on different topics with their class mates and enhance the subject matter with visual aids, like colorful charts, diagrams and videos. Teachers can also show a movie to students that help them to easily get through with the topic and its themes. This is the best way to become student active in the classroom activities as well as outside activities. The reason for doing these things in the classroom is that in this way student learn everything easily and with interest. 

3.4. Draw connections to real life

It is very important for every student to make connections with the subjects they are learning. So teachers should have to explain each and everything to their students by giving examples. If they are doing so then definitely students show their interest towards that subject and they find the subject more enjoyable to understand. If students don’t find any link what they are studied and become bored and they think what they are learning is not important, they won’t to learn, so it is important to demonstrate how the subjects relates to them. For example, in literature if you are teaching drama then you have to teach this by making different characters to different students and give them command to explain their dialogues. By teaching this way students find it exited and may be inspired to learn attentively.

4. Conclusion

In the gist of whole content it can be concluded that this essay has focused on the main factors and theories of motivation that help students to learn new things and grasp new knowledge by doing different activities in the classroom environment. The exceeding theories can be fruitfully incorporated to get better technique of knowledge.The objective of this research was that what is required for learners to reach deep understanding, to determine what leads to effective learning. A scientific understanding of learning includes understanding about learning processes, learning factors, social cultural processes that contribute to learning. An overview regarding education and the circumstances that encourage understanding has been derived by the communications between learners and the teachers.

5. References 

  • Atkinson, John W., An introduction to motivation. Princeton, NJ: Van No strand. (1964).
  • Hackman, J. Richard & Greg R. Oldham. “ Motivation through the design of work: Test of a theory.” Organizational behavior and human performance 16( 1976): 250-79.
  • Kuh, G.D. (2003). What we’re learning about student engagement from NSSE, change, 35(2), 24 – 32.
  • Merriam, Sharan B., & Bierema, Laura L. (2014). Traditional learning theories. In Adult Learning: Linking Theory And Practice,( pp.  87 -88).
  • Merriam, Sharan B., & Bierama, L. L. (2014). Motivation and learning. In Adult Learning:
  • Linking Theory And Practice, ( P. 147).
  • Maslow, A. H. (1943). A Theory Of Human Motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370 – 96.
  • Locke, Edwin.” Latham versus Komani: A Tale Of Two Paradigms.” Journal Of Applied Psychology 65( 1980): 16 – 23.
  • Zimmerman, B. J. (2000). Self – Efficacy: an essential motive to learn. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 82 – 91.


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