Teach English in Qinghe Muchang - Tongliao Shi

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Is Student Motivation Critical to Learning? Motivation is a combination of internal and external factors which fuels our passions, desires and energy to remain committed to a role, activity, or to make the effort to accomplish a goal. While our motivations are often accompanied by the goals we have in mind, these goals require action and activity on the part of an individual. Our motivations may vary by country, economic status, age, profession and several other factors. Hence, motivation ultimately determines the path we choose to undertake in our professional and private endeavors. Similarly, motivation in the classroom and specifically in students; is a critical factor in learning as well as behavior. The major ways in which student motivation is deemed critical to learning will be postulated throughout this discourse. First, motivation drives achievement. This will determine how much time, effort and energy an individual is willing to exert in order to achieve a goal. For example, in the classroom environment, if a student is motivated to be an ‘A’ student, that student will study consistently to acquire excellent grades. Hence, that student will immerse them-self in acquiring and retaining knowledge because the end goal is to achieve the title of an ‘A’ student. By contrast, a student who is not motivated to be the ‘A student’ may settle for any grade, as they are not motivated or share the same motivation as the previous student. This concept that motivation drives achievement may be summarized in a quote by Confucius which states that ‘the will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential...these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.” Second, motivated students perform better in class. Everyone can learn and acquire reasonable grades. However, the degree to which an individual performs is linked to their motivation for undertaking a task. Hence, if students are motivated, they will be more enthusiastic and determined in accomplishing an activity; even if that activity may be viewed as difficult. For instance, a group of students may need a certain grade to get into a specific program in university. They are aware of the requirements and the scores needed to gain entry into the program. On the other hand, students from the other group have no interest in going to university. The motivation to get into a specific program will propel the students from the first group to maximize their efforts and perform better in class and their exams, to secure their place at university. Third, motivation is critical to learning as it makes learning self-directed and self-initiated. Motivation simply stimulates learning. When a person is motivated to learn, they will not wait only on activities provided in a classroom environment, for example. Instead, that individual will seek out materials to stimulate and challenge themselves. Since this self-initiation is fueled by motivation, that individual can learn far more than could be taught in the confines of a class. Initiating their own topics and exploring various concepts and activities could expand the mind, and thereby increase learning and by extension-knowledge, as students are not simply going through the motions of learning but are rather active and willing participants in the process. In conclusion, student motivation is critical to learning. Without some degree of motivation, teachers on their own are unable to get the results they want from students. However, when students are motivated, they will have goals they aim to achieve. Additionally, they also perform better in class as they work harder to accomplish tasks even if they may be extremely challenging. Finally, a student will initiate learning on their own when they are motivated as motivation in its simplest form stimulates learning.