Motivation Essay for Students and Children

500+ words essay on motivation.

Everyone suggests other than the person lack motivation, or directly suggests the person remain motivated. But, no one ever tells what is the motivation of how one can stay motivated. Motivation means to face the obstacle and find an inspiration that helps you to go through tough times. In addition, it helps you to move further in life.

Motivation Essay

Meaning of Motivation

Motivation is something that cannot be understood with words but with practice. It means to be moved by something so strongly that it becomes an inspiration for you. Furthermore, it is a discipline that helps you to achieve your life goals and also helps to be successful in life .

Besides, it the most common practice that everyone does whether it is your boss in office or a school teacher or a university professor everyone motivates others in a way or other.

Role of Motivation

It is a strong tool that helps to get ahead in life. For being motivated we need a driving tool or goal that keeps us motivated and moves forward. Also, it helps in being progressive both physically and mentally.

Moreover, your goal does not be to big and long term they can be small and empowering. Furthermore, you need the right mindset to be motivated.

Besides, you need to push your self towards your goal no one other than you can push your limit. Also, you should be willing to leave your comfort zone because your true potential is going to revel when you leave your comfort zone.

Types of Motivation

Although there are various types of motivation according to me there are generally two types of motivation that are self- motivation and motivation by others.

Self-motivation- It refers to the power of someone to stay motivated without the influence of other situations and people. Furthermore, self-motivated people always find a way to reason and strength to complete a task. Also, they do not need other people to encourage them to perform a challenging task.

Motivation by others- This motivation requires help from others as the person is not able to maintain a self-motivated state. In this, a person requires encouragement from others. Also, he needs to listen to motivational speeches, a strong goal and most importantly and inspiration.

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Importance of Motivation

Motivation is very important for the overall development of the personality and mind of the people. It also puts a person in action and in a competitive state. Furthermore, it improves efficiency and desire to achieve the goal. It leads to stability and improvement in work.

Above all, it satisfies a person’s needs and to achieve his/her goal. It helps the person to fight his negative attitude. The person also tries to come out of his/her comfort zone so that she/ he can achieve the goal.

To conclude, motivation is one of the key elements that help a person to be successful. A motivated person tries to push his limits and always tries to improve his performance day by day. Also, the person always gives her/his best no matter what the task is. Besides, the person always tries to remain progressive and dedicated to her/his goals.

FAQs about Motivation Essay

Q.1 Define what is motivation fit. A.1 This refers to a psychological phenomenon in which a person assumes or expects something from the job or life but gets different results other than his expectations. In a profession, it is a primary criterion for determining if the person will stay or leave the job.

Q.2 List some best motivators. A.2 some of the best motivators are:

  • Inspiration
  • Fear of failure
  • Power of Rejection
  • Don’t pity your self
  • Be assertive
  • Stay among positive and motivated people
  • Be calm and visionary

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How to Motivate Students: 12 Classroom Tips & Examples

How to motivate students

Inspire. Instill drive. Incite excitement. Stimulate curiosity.

These are all common goals for many educators. However, what can you do if your students lack motivation? How do you light that fire and keep it from burning out?

This article will explain and provide examples of both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in the classroom. Further, we will provide actionable methods to use right now in your classroom to motivate the difficult to motivate. Let’s get started!

Before you continue, we thought you might like to download our three Goal Achievement Exercises for free . These detailed, science-based exercises will help you or your students create actionable goals and master techniques to create lasting behavior change.

This Article Contains:

The science of motivation explained, how to motivate students in the classroom, 9 ways teachers can motivate students, encouraging students to ask questions: 3 tips, motivating students in online classes, helpful resources from, a take-home message.

Goal-directed activities are started and sustained by motivation. “Motivational processes are personal/internal influences that lead to outcomes such as choice, effort, persistence, achievement, and environmental regulation” (Schunk & DiBenedetto, 2020). There are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic.

Intrinsic motivation is internal to a person.

For example, you may be motivated to achieve satisfactory grades in a foreign language course because you genuinely want to become fluent in the language. Students like this are motivated by their interest, enjoyment, or satisfaction from learning the material.

Not surprisingly, intrinsic motivation is congruous with higher performance and predicts student performance and higher achievement (Ryan & Deci, 2020).

Extrinsic motivation is derived from a more external source and involves a contingent reward (Benabou & Tirole, 2003).

For example, a student may be motivated to achieve satisfactory grades in a foreign language course because they receive a tangible reward or compliments for good grades. Their motivation is fueled by earning external rewards or avoiding punishments. Rewards may even include approval from others, such as parents or teachers.

Self-determination theory addresses the why of behavior and asserts that there are various motivation types that lie on a continuum, including external motivation, internal motivation, and amotivation (Sheehan et al., 2018).

Motivating students

  • Relatedness

Student autonomy is the ownership they take of their learning or initiative.

Generate students’ autonomy by involving them in decision-making. Try blended learning, which combines whole class lessons with independent learning. Teach accountability by holding students accountable and modeling and thinking aloud your own accountability.

In addressing competence, students must feel that they can succeed and grow. Assisting students in developing their self-esteem is critical. Help students see their strengths and refer to their strengths often. Promote a kid’s growth mindset .

Relatedness refers to the students’ sense of belonging and connection. Build this by establishing relationships. Facilitate peer connections by using team-building exercises and encouraging collaborative learning. Develop your own relationship with each student. Explore student interests to develop common ground.

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Motivating students while teaching a subject and providing classroom management is definitely a juggling act. Try introducing a few of the suggestions below and see what happens.


First and foremost, it is critical to develop relationships with your students. When students begin formal schooling, they need to develop quality relationships, as interpersonal relationships in the school setting influence children’s development and positively impact student outcomes, which includes their motivation to learn, behavior, and cognitive skills (McFarland et al., 2016).

Try administering interest inventories at the beginning of the school year. Make a point to get to know each student and demonstrate your interest by asking them about their weekend, sports game, or other activities they may participate in.

Physical learning environment

Modify the physical learning environment. Who says students need to sit in single-file rows all facing the front of the room or even as desks for that matter?

Flexible seating is something you may want to try. Students who are comfortable in a learning space are better engaged, which leads to more meaningful, impactful learning experiences (Cole et al., 2021). You may try to implement pillows, couches, stools, rocking chairs, rolling chairs, bouncing chairs, or even no chairs at all.

Include parents

Involve parents and solicit their aid to help encourage students. Parents are a key factor in students’ motivation (Tóth-Király et al., 2022).

It is important to develop your relationship with these crucial allies. Try making positive phone calls home prior to the negative phone calls to help build an effective relationship. Involve parents by sending home a weekly newsletter or by inviting them into your classroom for special events. Inform them that you are a team and have the same goals for their child.

The relevance of the material is critical for instilling motivation. Demonstrating why the material is useful or tying the material directly to students’ lives is necessary for obtaining student interest.

It would come as no surprise that if a foreign language learner is not using relevant material, it will take longer for that student to acquire the language and achieve their goals (Shatz, 2014). If students do not understand the importance or real-world application for what they are learning, they may not be motivated to learn.

Student-centered learning

Student-centered learning approaches have been proven to be more effective than teacher-centered teaching approaches (Peled et al., 2022).

A student-centered approach engages students in the learning process, whereas a teacher-centered approach involves the teacher delivering the majority of the information. This type of teaching requires students to construct meaning from new information and prior experience.

Give students autonomy and ownership of what they learn. Try enlisting students as the directors of their own learning and assign project-based learning activities.

Find additional ways to integrate technology. Talk less and encourage the students to talk more. Involving students in decision-making and providing them opportunities to lead are conducive to a student-centered learning environment.

Collaborative learning

Collaborative learning is definitely a strategy to implement in the classroom. There are both cognitive and motivational benefits to collaborative learning (Järvelä et al., 2010), and social learning theory is a critical lens with which to examine motivation in the classroom.

You may try assigning group or partner work where students work together on a common task. This is also known as cooperative learning. You may want to offer opportunities for both partner and small group work. Allowing students to choose their partners or groups and assigning partners or groups should also be considered.

Alternative answering

Have you ever had a difficult time getting students to answer your questions? Who says students need to answer verbally? Try using alternative answering methods, such as individual whiteboards, personal response systems such as “clickers,” or student response games such as Kahoot!

Quizlet is also an effective method for obtaining students’ answers (Setiawan & Wiedarti, 2020). Using these tools allows every student to participate, even the timid students, and allows the teacher to perform a class-wide formative assessment on all students.

New teaching methods

Vary your teaching methods. If you have become bored with the lessons you are delivering, it’s likely that students have also become bored.

Try new teaching activities, such as inviting a guest speaker to your classroom or by implementing debates and role-play into your lessons. Teacher and student enjoyment in the classroom are positively linked, and teachers’ displayed enthusiasm affects teacher and student enjoyment (Frenzel et al., 2009).

Perhaps check out our article on teacher burnout to reignite your spark in the classroom. If you are not enjoying yourself, your students aren’t likely to either.

Asking questions

Aside from encouraging students to answer teacher questions, prompting students to ask their own questions can also be a challenge.

When students ask questions, they demonstrate they are thinking about their learning and are engaged. Further, they are actively filling the gaps in their knowledge. Doğan and Yücel-Toy (2020, p. 2237) posit:

“The process of asking questions helps students understand the new topic, realize others’ ideas, evaluate their own progress, monitor learning processes, and increase their motivation and interest on the topic by arousing curiosity.”

Student-created questions are critical to an effective learning environment. Below are a few tips to help motivate students to ask questions.

Instill confidence and a safe environment

Students need to feel safe in their classrooms. A teacher can foster this environment by setting clear expectations of respect between students. Involve students in creating a classroom contract or norms.

Refer to your classroom’s posted contract or norms periodically to review student expectations. Address any deviation from these agreements and praise students often. Acknowledge all students’ responses, no matter how wild or off-topic they may be.

Graphic organizers

Provide students with graphic organizers such as a KWL chart. The KWL chart helps students organize what they already Know , what they Want to learn, and what they Learned .

Tools such as these will allow students to process their thinking and grant them time to generate constructive questions. Referring to this chart will allow more timid students to share their questions.

Although intrinsic motivation is preferred (Ryan & Deci, 2020), incentives should also be used when appropriate. Token systems, where students can exchange points for items, are an effective method for improving learning and positively affecting student behavior (Homer et al., 2018).

Tangible and intangible incentives may be used to motivate students if they have not developed intrinsic motivation. Intangible items may include lunch with the teacher, a coupon to only complete half of an assignment, or a show-and-tell session. Of course, a good old-fashioned treasure box may help as well.

If students are unwilling to ask questions in front of the class, try implementing a large poster paper where students are encouraged to use sticky notes to write down their questions. Teachers may refer to the questions and answer them at a separate time. This practice is called a “parking lot.” Also, consider allowing students to share questions in small groups or with partners.

Student motivation: how to motivate students to learn

Just as in the face-to-face setting, relationships are crucial for online student motivation as well. Build relationships by getting to know your students’ interests. Determining student interests will also be key in the virtual environment.

Try incorporating a show-and-tell opportunity where students can display and talk about objects from around their home that are important to them. Peer-to-peer relationships should also be encouraged, and accomplishing this feat in an online class can be difficult. Here is a resource you can use to help plan team-building activities to bring your students together.

Game-based response systems such as Kahoot! may increase motivation. These tools use gamification to encourage motivation and engagement.

Incentives may also be used in the computer-based setting. Many schools have opted to use Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Rewards . This curriculum nurtures a positive school culture and aims to improve student behavior. Points are earned by students meeting expectations and can be exchanged for items in an online store.

To further develop strong relationships with students and parents, remark on the relevancy of the materials and instill a student-centered learning approach that addresses autonomy. You may also wish to include alternative means of answering questions, vary your teaching methods, and implement collaborative learning.

We have many useful articles and worksheets you can use with your students. To get an excellent start on the foundations of motivation, we recommend our article What Is Motivation? A Psychologist Explains .

If you’re curious about intrinsic motivation, you may be interested in What Is Intrinsic Motivation? 10 Examples and Factors Explained . And if you wish to learn more about extrinsic motivation, What Is Extrinsic Motivation? 9 Everyday Examples and Activities may be of interest to you.

Perhaps using kids’ reward coupons such as these may help increase motivation. Teachers could modify the coupons to fit their classroom or share these exact coupons with parents at parent–teacher conferences to reinforce children’s efforts at school .

For some students, coloring is an enjoyable and creative outlet. Try using a coloring sheet such as this Decorating Cookies worksheet for when students complete their work or as a reward for good behavior.

These 17 Motivation and Goal Achievement Exercises were designed for professionals to help others turn their dreams into reality by applying the latest science-based behavioral change techniques. You can consider these exercises to better understand your own motivation or tweak some activities for younger learners.

“The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.”

C. S. Lewis

While we know how challenging it is to motivate students while teaching our specific subjects and attending to classroom management, we also understand the importance of motivation.

You will have some students enter your classroom with unequivocally developed intrinsic motivation, and you will have students enter your classroom with absolutely no motivation.

Teachers have to be able to teach everyone who walks into their classroom and incite motivation in those who have no motivation at all. Motivating the difficult to motivate is challenging; however, it can be done.

As Plutarch asserted, it is better to think of education as “a fire to be kindled” as opposed to “a vessel to be filled.” In addressing the needs of students with little to no motivation, it will take more time, patience, and understanding; however, implementing a few of these strategies will put you on the fast track to lighting that fire.

We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Don’t forget to download our three Goal Achievement Exercises for free .

  • Benabou, R., & Tirole, J. (2003). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The Review of Economic Studies , 70 (3), 489–495
  • Cole, K., Schroeder, K., Bataineh, M., & Al-Bataineh, A. (2021). Flexible seating impact on classroom environment. Turkish Online Journal of Educational Technology-TOJET , 20 (2), 62–74.
  • Doğan, F., & Yücel-Toy, B. (2020). Development of an attitude scale towards asking questions for elementary education students. Ilkogretim Online, 19 (4), 2237–2248.
  • Frenzel, A. C., Goetz, T., Lüdtke, O., Pekrun, R., & Sutton, R. E. (2009). Emotional transmission in the classroom: Exploring the relationship between teacher and student enjoyment. Journal of Educational Psychology , 101 (3), 705–716.
  • Homer, R., Hew, K. F., & Tan, C. Y. (2018). Comparing digital badges-and-points with classroom token systems: Effects on elementary school ESL students’ classroom behavior and English learning. Journal of Educational Technology & Society , 21 (1), 137–151.
  • Järvelä, S., Volet, S., & Järvenoja, H. (2010). Research on motivation in collaborative learning: Moving beyond the cognitive–situative divide and combining individual and social processes. Educational Psychologist , 45 (1), 15–27.
  • Kippers, W. B., Wolterinck, C. H., Schildkamp, K., Poortman, C. L., & Visscher, A. J. (2018). Teachers’ views on the use of assessment for learning and data-based decision making in classroom practice. Teaching and Teacher Education , 75 , 199–213.
  • McFarland, L., Murray, E., & Phillipson, S. (2016). Student–teacher relationships and student self-concept: Relations with teacher and student gender. Australian Journal of Education , 60 (1), 5–25.
  • Peled, Y., Blau, I., & Grinberg, R. (2022). Crosschecking teachers’ perspectives on learning in a one-to-one environment with their actual classroom behavior: A longitudinal study. Education and Information Technologies , 1–24.
  • Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2020). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation from a self-determination theory perspective: Definitions, theory, practices, and future directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology , 61 , 101860.
  • Schunk, D. H., & DiBenedetto, M. K. (2020). Motivation and social cognitive theory. Contemporary Educational Psychology , 60 , 101832.
  • Setiawan, M. R., & Wiedarti, P. (2020). The effectiveness of Quizlet application towards students’ motivation in learning vocabulary. Studies in English Language and Education , 7 (1), 83–95.
  • Shatz, I. (2014). Parameters for assessing the effectiveness of language learning strategies. Journal of Language and Cultural Education , 2 (3), 96–103.
  • Sheehan, R. B., Herring, M. P., & Campbell, M. J. (2018). Associations between motivation and mental health in sport: A test of the hierarchical model of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Frontiers in Psychology , 9 , 707.
  • Tóth-Király, I., Morin, A. J., Litalien, D., Valuch, M., Bőthe, B., Orosz, G., & Rigó, A. (2022). Self-determined profiles of academic motivation. Motivation and Emotion , 1–19.

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Center for Teaching

Motivating students.

essay on motivation for students


  • Expectancy – Value – Cost Model

ARCS Model of Instructional Design

Self-determination theory, additional strategies for motivating students.

Fostering student motivation is a difficult but necessary aspect of teaching that instructors must consider. Many may have led classes where students are engaged, motivated, and excited to learn, but have also led classes where students are distracted, disinterested, and reluctant to engage—and, probably, have led classes that are a mix. What factors influence students’ motivation? How can instructors promote students’ engagement and motivation to learn? While there are nuances that change from student to student, there are also models of motivation that serve as tools for thinking through and enhancing motivation in our classrooms. This guide will look at three frameworks: the expectancy-value-cost model of motivation, the ARCS model of instructional design, and self-determination theory. These three models highlight some of the major factors that influence student motivation, often drawing from and demonstrating overlap among their frameworks. The aim of this guide is to explore some of the literature on motivation and offer practical solutions for understanding and enhancing student motivation.

Expectancy – Value – Cost Model

The purpose of the original expectancy-value model was to predict students’ achievement behaviors within an educational context. The model has since been refined to include cost as one of the three major factors that influence student motivation. Below is a description of the three factors, according to the model, that influence motivation.

  • Expectancy refers to a student’s expectation that they can actually succeed in the assigned task. It energizes students because they feel empowered to meet the learning objectives of the course.
  • Value involves a student’s ability to perceive the importance of engaging in a particular task. This gives meaning to the assignment or activity because students are clear on why the task or behavior is valuable.
  • Cost points to the barriers that impede a student’s ability to be successful on an assignment, activity and/or the course at large. Therefore, students might have success expectancies and perceive high task value, however, they might also be aware of obstacles to their engagement or a potential negative affect resulting in performance of the task, which could decrease their motivation.

Three important questions to consider from the student perspective:

1. Expectancy – Can I do the task?

2. Value – Do I want to do the task?

• Intrinsic or interest value : the inherent enjoyment that an individual experiences from engaging in the task for its own sake.

• Utility value : the usefulness of the task in helping achieve other short term or long-term goals.

• Attainment value : the task affirms a valued aspect of an individual’s identity and meets a need that is important to the individual.

3. Cost – Am I free of barriers that prevent me from investing my time, energy, and resources into the activity?

It’s important to note that expectancy, value and cost are not shaped only when a student enters your classroom. These have been shaped over time by both individual and contextual factors. Each of your students comes in with an initial response, however there are strategies for encouraging student success, clarifying subject meaning and finding ways to mitigate costs that will increase your students’ motivation. Everyone may not end up at the same level of motivation, but if you can increase each student’s motivation, it will help the overall atmosphere and productivity of the course that you are teaching.

Strategies to Enhance Expectancy, Value, and Cost

Hulleman et. al (2016) summarize research-based sources that positively impact students’ expectancy beliefs, perceptions of task value, and perceptions of cost, which might point to useful strategies that instructors can employ.

Research-based sources of expectancy-related beliefs

Research-based sources of value, research-based sources of cost.

  • Barron K. E., & Hulleman, C. S. (2015). Expectancy-value-cost model of motivation. International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, 8 , 503-509.
  • Hulleman, C. S., Barron, K. E., Kosovich, J. J., & Lazowski, R. A. (2016). Student motivation: Current theories, constructs, and interventions within an expectancy-value framework. In A. A. Lipnevich et al. (Eds.), Psychosocial Skills and School Systems in the 21st Century . Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

The ARCS model of instructional design was created to improve the motivational appeal of instructional materials. The ARCS model is grounded in an expectancy-value framework, which assumes that people are motivated to engage in an activity if it’s perceived to be linked to the satisfaction of personal needs and if there is a positive expectancy for success. The purpose of this model was to fill a gap in the motivation literature by providing a model that could more clearly allow instructors to identify strategies to help improve motivation levels within their students.

ARCS is an acronym that stands for four factors, according to the model, that influence student motivation: attention, relevance, confidence, and satisfaction.

  • Attention refers to getting and sustaining student attention and directing attention to the appropriate stimuli.
  • Relevance involves making instruction applicable to present and future career opportunities, showing that learning in it of itself is enjoyable, and/or focusing on process over product by satisfying students’ psychological needs (e.g., need for achievement, need for affiliation).
  • Confidence includes helping students believe that some level of success is possible if effort is exerted.
  • Satisfaction is attained by helping students feel good about their accomplishments and allowing them to exert some degree of control over the learning experience.

To use the ARCS instructional design model, these steps can be followed:

  • Classify the problem
  • Analyze audience motivation
  • Prepare motivational objectives (i.e., identify which factor in the ARCS model to target based on the defined problem and audience analysis).
  • Generate potential motivational strategies for each objective
  • Select strategies that a) don’t take up too much instructional time; b) don’t detract from instructional objectives; c) fall within time and money constraints; d) are acceptable to the audience; and e) are compatible with the instructor’s personal style, preferences, and mode of instruction.
  • Prepare motivational elements
  • Integrate materials with instruction
  • Conduct a developmental try-out
  • Assess motivational outcomes

Strategies to Enhance Attention, Relevance, Confidence, and Satisfaction

Keller (1987) provides several suggestions for how instructors can positively impact students’ attention, perceived relevance, confidence, and satisfaction.

Attention Strategies

Incongruity, Conflict

  • Introduce a fact that seems to contradict the learner’s past experience.
  • Present an example that does not seem to exemplify a given concept.
  • Introduce two equally plausible facts or principles, only one of which can be true.
  • Play devil’s advocate.


  • Show visual representations of any important object or set of ideas or relationships.
  • Give examples of every instructionally important concept or principle.
  • Use content-related anecdotes, case studies, biographies, etc.


  • In stand up delivery, vary the tone of your voice, and use body movement, pauses, and props.
  • Vary the format of instruction (information presentation, practice, testing, etc.) according to the attention span of the audience.
  • Vary the medium of instruction (platform delivery, film, video, print, etc.).
  • Break up print materials by use of white space, visuals, tables, different typefaces, etc.
  • Change the style of presentation (humorous-serious, fast-slow, loud-soft, active-passive, etc.).
  • Shift between student-instructor interaction and student-student interaction.
  • Where appropriate, use plays on words during redundant information presentation.
  • Use humorous introductions.
  • Use humorous analogies to explain and summarize.
  • Use creativity techniques to have learners create unusual analogies and associations to the content.
  • Build in problem solving activities at regular interval.
  • Give learners the opportunity to select topics, projects and assignments that appeal to their curiosity and need to explore.


  • Use games, role plays, or simulations that require learner participation.

Relevance Strategies

  • State explicitly how the instruction builds on the learner’s existing skills.
  • Use analogies familiar to the learner from past experience.
  • Find out what the learners’ interests are and relate them to the instruction.

Present Worth

  • State explicitly the present intrinsic value of learning the content, as distinct from its value as a link to future goals.

Future Usefulness

  • State explicitly how the instruction relates to future activities of the learner.
  • Ask learners to relate the instruction to their own future goals (future wheel).

Need Matching

  • To enhance achievement striving behavior, provide opportunities to achieve standards of excellence under conditions of moderate risk.
  • To make instruction responsive to the power motive, provide opportunities for responsibility, authority, and interpersonal influence.
  • To satisfy the need for affiliation, establish trust and provide opportunities for no-risk, cooperative interaction.
  • Bring in alumni of the course as enthusiastic guest lecturers.
  • In a self-paced course, use those who finish first as deputy tutors.
  • Model enthusiasm for the subject taught.
  • Provide meaningful alternative methods for accomplishing a goal.
  • Provide personal choices for organizing one’s work.

Confidence Strategies

Learning Requirements

  • Incorporate clearly stated, appealing learning goals into instructional materials.
  • Provide self-evaluation tools which are based on clearly stated goals.
  • Explain the criteria for evaluation of performance.
  • Organize materials on an increasing level of difficulty; that is, structure the learning material to provide a “conquerable” challenge.


  • Include statements about the likelihood of success with given amounts of effort and ability.
  • Teach students how to develop a plan of work that will result in goal accomplishment.
  • Help students set realistic goals.


  • Attribute student success to effort rather than luck or ease of task when appropriate (i.e., when you know it’s true!).
  • Encourage student efforts to verbalize appropriate attributions for both successes and failures.


  • Allow students opportunity to become increasingly independent in learning and practicing a skill.
  • Have students learn new skills under low risk conditions, but practice performance of well-learned tasks under realistic conditions.
  • Help students understand that the pursuit of excellence does not mean that anything short of perfection is failure; learn to feel good about genuine accomplishment.

Satisfaction Strategies

Natural Consequences

  • Allow a student to use a newly acquired skill in a realistic setting as soon as possible.
  • Verbally reinforce a student’s intrinsic pride in accomplishing a difficult task.
  • Allow a student who masters a task to help others who have not yet done so.

Unexpected Rewards

  • Reward intrinsically interesting task performance with unexpected, non-contingent rewards.
  • Reward boring tasks with extrinsic, anticipated rewards.

Positive Outcomes

  • Give verbal praise for successful progress or accomplishment.
  • Give personal attention to students.
  • Provide informative, helpful feedback when it is immediately useful.
  • Provide motivating feedback (praise) immediately following task performance.

Negative Influences

  • Avoid the use of threats as a means of obtaining task performance.
  • Avoid surveillance (as opposed to positive attention).
  • Avoid external performance evaluations whenever it is possible to help the student evaluate his or her own work.
  • Provide frequent reinforcements when a student is learning a new task.
  • Provide intermittent reinforcement as a student becomes more competent at a task.
  • Vary the schedule of reinforcements in terms of both interval and quantity.

Source: Keller, J. M. (1987). Development and use of the ARCS model of instructional design. Journal of Instructional Development, 10 , 2-10.

Self-determination theory (SDT) is a macro-theory of human motivation, emotion, and development that is concerned with the social conditions that facilitate or hinder human flourishing. While applicable to many domains, the theory has been commonly used to understand what moves students to act and persist in educational settings. SDT focuses on the factors that influence intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, which primarily involves the satisfaction of basic psychological needs.

Basic Psychological Needs

SDT posits that human motivation is guided by the need to fulfill basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness.

  • Autonomy refers to having a choice in one’s own individual behaviors and feeling that those behaviors stem from individual volition rather than from external pressure or control. In educational contexts, students feel autonomous when they are given options, within a structure, about how to perform or present their work.
  • Competence refers to perceiving one’s own behaviors or actions as effective and efficient. Students feel competent when they are able to track their progress in developing skills or an understanding of course material. This is often fostered when students receive clear feedback regarding their progression in the class.
  • Relatedness refers to feeling a sense of belonging, closeness, and support from others. In educational settings, relatedness is fostered when students feel connected, both intellectually and emotionally, to their peers and instructors in the class. This can often be accomplished through interactions that allow members of the class to get to know each other on a deeper, more personal level.

Continuum of Self-Determination

SDT also posits that motivation exists on a continuum. When an environment provides enough support for the satisfaction of the psychological needs of autonomy, competence and relatedness, an individual may experience self-determined forms of motivation: intrinsic motivation, integration, and identification. Self-determined motivation occurs when there is an internal perceived locus of causality (i.e., internal factors are the main driving force for the behavior). Integration and identification are also grouped as autonomous extrinsic motivation as the behavior is driven by internal and volitional choice.

Intrinsic motivation , which is the most self-determined type of motivation, occurs when individuals naturally and spontaneously perform behaviors as a result of genuine interest and enjoyment.

Integrated regulation is when individuals identify the importance of a behavior, integrate this behavior into their self-concept, and pursue activities that align with this self-concept.

Identified regulation is where people identify and recognize the value of a behavior, which then drives their action.

When an environment does not provide enough support for the satisfaction of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, an individual may experience non-self-determined forms of motivation: introjection and external regulation. Introjection and external regulation are grouped as controlled extrinsic motivation because people enact these behaviors due to external or internal pressures.

Introjected regulation occurs when individuals are controlled by internalized consequences administered by the individual themselves, such as pride, shame, or guilt.

External regulation is when people’s behaviors are controlled exclusively by external factors, such as rewards or punishments.

Finally, at the bottom of the continuum is amotivation, which is lowest form of motivation.

Amotivation exists when there is a complete lack of intention to behave and there is no sense of achievement or purpose when the behavior is performed.

Below is a figure depicting the continuum of self-determination taken from Lonsdale, Hodge, and Rose (2009).

essay on motivation for students

Although having intrinsically motivated students would be the ultimate goal, it may not be a practical one within educational settings. That’s because there are several tasks that are required of students to meet particular learning objectives that may not be inherently interesting or enjoyable. Instead, instructors can employ various strategies to satisfy students’ basic psychological needs, which should move their level of motivation along the continuum, and hopefully lead to more self-determined forms of motivation, thus yielding the greatest rewards in terms of student academic outcomes.

Below are suggestions for how instructors can positively impact students’ perceived autonomy, competence, and relatedness.

Strategies to Enhance Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness

Autonomy strategies.

  • Have students choose paper topics
  • Have students choose the medium with which they will present their work
  • Co-create rubrics with students (e.g., participation rubrics, assignment rubrics)
  • Have students choose the topics you will cover in a particular unit
  • Drop the lowest assessment or two (e.g., quizzes, exams, homework)
  • Have students identify preferred assignment deadlines
  • Gather mid-semester feedback and make changes based on student suggestions
  • Provide meaningful rationales for learning activities
  • Acknowledge students’ feelings about the learning process or learning activities throughout the course

Competence Strategies

  • Set high but achievable learning objectives
  • Communicate to students that you believe they can meet your high expectations
  • Communicate clear expectations for each assignment (e.g., use rubrics)
  • Include multiple low-stakes assessments
  • Give students practice with feedback before assessments
  • Provide lots of early feedback to students
  • Have students provide peer feedback
  • Scaffold assignments
  • Praise student effort and hard work
  • Provide a safe environment for students to fail and then learn from their mistakes

Relatedness Strategies

  • Share personal anecdotes
  • Get to know students via small talk before/after class and during breaks
  • Require students to come to office hours (individually or in small groups)
  • Have students complete a survey where they share information about themselves
  • Use students’ names (perhaps with the help of name tents)
  • Have students incorporate personal interests into their assignments
  • Share a meal with students or bring food to class
  • Incorporate group activities during class, and allow students to work with a variety of peers
  • Arrange formal study groups
  • Convey warmth, caring, and respect to students
  • Lonsdale, C., Hodge, K., & Rose, E. (2009). Athlete burnout in elite sport: A self-determination perspective. Journal of Sports Sciences, 27, 785-795.
  • Niemiec, C. P., & Ryan, R. M. (2009). Autonomy, competence, and relatedness in the classroom: Applying self-determination theory to educational practice. Theory and Research in Education, 7, 133-144.
  • Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2017). Self-determination theory: Basic psychological needs in motivation, development, and wellness . New York: Guilford.

Below are some additional research-based strategies for motivating students to learn.

  • Become a role model for student interest . Deliver your presentations with energy and enthusiasm. As a display of your motivation, your passion motivates your students. Make the course personal, showing why you are interested in the material.
  • Get to know your students.  You will be able to better tailor your instruction to the students’ concerns and backgrounds, and your personal interest in them will inspire their personal loyalty to you. Display a strong interest in students’ learning and a faith in their abilities.
  • Use examples freely.  Many students want to be shown why a concept or technique is useful before they want to study it further. Inform students about how your course prepares students for future opportunities.
  • Teach by discovery. Students find it satisfying to reason through a problem and discover the underlying principle on their own.
  • Cooperative learning activities are particularly effective as they also provide positive social pressure.
  • Set realistic performance goals  and help students achieve them by encouraging them to set their own reasonable goals. Design assignments that are appropriately challenging in view of the experience and aptitude of the class.
  • Place appropriate emphasis on testing and grading.  Tests should be a means of showing what students have mastered, not what they have not. Avoid grading on the curve and give everyone the opportunity to achieve the highest standard and grades.
  • Be free with praise and constructive in criticism.  Negative comments should pertain to particular performances, not the performer. Offer nonjudgmental feedback on students’ work, stress opportunities to improve, look for ways to stimulate advancement, and avoid dividing students into sheep and goats.
  • Give students as much control over their own education as possible.  Let students choose paper and project topics that interest them. Assess them in a variety of ways (tests, papers, projects, presentations, etc.) to give students more control over how they show their understanding to you. Give students options for how these assignments are weighted.
  • Bain, K. (2004). What the best college teachers do. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • DeLong, M., & Winter, D. (2002).  Learning to teach and teaching to learn mathematics: Resources for professional development . Washington, D.C.: Mathematical Association of America.
  • Nilson, L. (2016). Teaching at its best: A research-based resource for college instructors  (4 th ed.). San Francisco, CA: Josey-Bass.

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  • Essay On Motivation

Motivation Essay

500+ words essay on motivation.

Motivation, the word itself, means positive vibes which push an individual to go through tough times. We all are unaware of what drives one to stay motivated. We have different sources, such as our role models, parents, teachers, etc. Everyone should have some infrequent motivation intervals to move forward in their life.

Meaning of Motivation

Motivation provides us with positive energy to achieve our goals and makes us feel optimistic and enthusiastic. It pushes us to perform our work specifically to get results. In our life, it gives us the energy to stay focused on our work. Every individual needs the motivation to achieve their dreams and aspirations. Human beings have numerous things to motivate themselves, such as encouragement from loved ones, friends, etc. Motivation from our parents makes us feel more confident about the path we pursue. It encourages us to believe in ourselves and make us stronger. Sometimes, we fail to achieve success, and at that phase, we require motivation. Once we get motivated, we start fresh with energy and hope.

Motivation comes with constant practice, meaning getting moved or inspired by someone that will help you achieve your goals. Everyone needs motivation, whether in a workplace, school, institution, etc.

Role of Motivation

Motivation comes with the right mindset irrespective of your goal, too big or long term. It helps us to move ahead mentally and physically. To keep ourselves motivated, we require a driving factor or tool and to become successful; we need to push our boundaries. Also, you need to come out of your comfort zone to reveal your true potential.

Types of Motivation

An individual might have various types of motivation, but in my opinion, motivation can be self-motivation and motivation by others.

Self-motivation: Self-motivation means keeping ourselves motivated without the influence of other people and situations. If you are self-motivated, you can complete the given task without guidance and encouragement.

Motivation by Others: People who lack self-motivation need help from others to keep themselves motivated. They need encouragement from others to maintain their state of motivation. These people also need to listen to motivational speeches for inspiration.

Sources of Motivation

The source of motivation can be anyone, either your school teachers or your parents, depending upon the situation.

From People: When it comes to our motivation, our mothers play an imperative role. Mothers selflessly motivate their children in every stage of life. According to research, it is found that when we communicate with our mothers, our brain releases oxytocin in a reasonable amount. It makes us feel good and motivated. Also, some people are well-known about our goal clearly, so they encourage us.

Famous Personalities: We also get inspiration from our favourite personalities like social workers, writers, political leaders, film stars, presidents, cricketers, etc. We want to become like the person we follow, which indirectly becomes our motivation.

Animals: Animals also motivate us, like dogs, which always make us happy. We can also take the example of an ant who keeps on falling but never gives up, so it teaches us that we should not feel unmotivated by our failure. Similarly, if we look at our surroundings, many animals motivate us.

Nature: The season is the best example when we talk about nature. The season keeps on changing, but we might not like every season, but still, we survive and understand its significance. Rivers also inspires and teaches us to face every problem of our life.

Books: They are one of the best sources of motivation. Many books have beautiful experiences shared with some captivating stories. Books are our best friends and the best motivators.

Conclusion of Motivation Essay

It is not only you who may feel low or sad. People meet different people and get motivated, like an energy drink. Always have your inspiration with you because it will help you achieve your goals. It is good to be optimistic because it helps us achieve our goals and adds peace to our lives.

From our BYJU’S website, students can learn CBSE Essays related to different topics. It will help students to get good marks in their upcoming exams.

Frequently Asked Questions on Motivation Essay

How important is self-motivation.

In today’s competitive world, motivating oneself constantly is necessary to move forward in life and career.

Do teachers play an important role in the ‘motivation factor’ of students?

Students spend maximum time in school, and thus, teachers are solely responsible (after parents) in motivating children towards the right goal.

How do students develop motivation?

Students can keep themselves motivated by setting realistic goals, making note of their progress, following timelines and rewarding themselves for their achievements.

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Maintaining Students’ Motivation for Learning as the Year Goes On

Neuroscience can suggest ways to keep students working toward their learning goals after their initial excitement wears off.

Illustration concept showing an engaged, creative mind

It’s likely that your hard work orchestrating the first weeks of school enhanced your students’ connection to the school community and their enthusiasm for the learning to come. However, as the semester goes on and you seek to sustain that motivated momentum, you may not be able to find the same amount of prep time that you dedicated to the start of the year.

Yet even when your students’ bubbles of excitement fade, you can reboot their connections, engagement, and motivation with the help of insights from neuroscience research .

The Neuroscience of Motivation

Motivation is a desire to learn, try, work, and persevere. I’m a neurologist and former teacher, and one of my focus areas is the neuroscience of learning—especially motivated and successful learning. Students’ levels of intrinsic motivation—the inherent satisfaction of the activity itself, rather than an outside reward—directly correspond with increased effort and with seeing the effectiveness of their behavior, choices, focus, and performance.

Intrinsic motivation is promoted by dopamine, a brain chemical that gives us a rush of satisfaction upon achieving a goal we’ve chosen. When dopamine levels rise, so does one’s sense of satisfaction and desire to continue to sustain attention and effort. Increased dopamine can  also improve other mental processes, including memory, attention, perseverance, and creative problem-solving.

The Value of Choice

Dopamine release is promoted by meeting desired challenges, interacting with peers, movement, humor, and listening to music, among other things. Knowing what boosts students’ dopamine levels can help you in your quest to maintain or reboot their motivation. One dopamine booster that I’ve found especially effective is choice, which appears to increase students’ levels of intrinsic motivation , supporting their sustained effort and persistence in academic tasks.

Choice shifts responsibility for their learning to students and builds their judgment and decision-making. Some students may feel anxious about having too much freedom, fearing they won’t do the right thing. By starting with small choices first, you can help your learners develop skills of evaluating, selecting, and following through with good choices. As you offer more opportunities for choice and expand students’ boundaries as self-directed learners, you’ll see further increases in their confidence and motivated effort toward their chosen goals.

Some Classroom Examples

Here are some ways to provide choice to invigorate students’ motivation, engagement, and effort in their learning beyond the first weeks.

World languages: As students learn vocabulary in the target language, you can offer them choices regarding how they build mastery and self-assess their progress. Curiosity and personal relevance for this type of task can start with your showing a short humorous video in the target language. Look for clips that show positive emotions, laughter, and people and places to which your learners will relate. Their goal is to explain—in a manner of their choosing—why they think the clip is funny. You may allow them to use dictionaries, provide guidance to the appropriate textbook material, or have them work in flexible groups with you or peers.

You can give them guided choice in demonstrating their achievement: Allow them to write or speak about the humor they found, to draw a cartoon strip reflecting something in the video, or to make their own videos on the humorous topic emphasized in the video.

Language arts: To motivate students to learn the essentials of punctuation, have them choose a book they love, which will become a punctuation learning tool.

Ask students to choose a favorite section of their chosen text and have them copy it without the punctuation. You then make anonymous copies of these unpunctuated documents and place them in boxes labeled with the level of challenge (as you determine it). You can add information about the topic to guide the new “punctuators” to select a topic of interest. You can also allow them a choice in the level of challenge—they can progress at their own comfort level through increasing levels of challenge.

The students’ job is to make the chosen text understandable by adding punctuation. You should note that the original author’s punctuation choices are not the only valid ones, and when students make different choices the class can discuss those differences. Your students will get feedback that they’re building mastery as they use punctuation to make sense of increasingly challenging texts.

After you’ve done this once, you’ll have samples of student work you can share in subsequent years—ideally examples showing a progression from a text with no punctuation to one with incorrect or incomplete punctuation, and then on to a readable text with appropriate punctuation.

Math: Metric system boring? Let students choose something that interests them, such as recipes they want to make or sporting statistics, and have them convert the standard values involved into metric measurements.

Look to help learners recognize the pleasurable emotional experiences that occur through their learning and sustained effort. Remind them of these experiences—you may want to show students photographs of themselves smiling during such experiences—when they need a boost of motivated enthusiasm and effort for subsequent goals.

Motivation has a major impact on students’ effort, academic success, and joy of learning. Providing choices for your learners to engage with new learning and to progress through achievable challenges, with feedback on their progress toward their chosen goals, will make a difference in sustaining their motivated effort throughout the school year ahead.

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The Importance of Students’ Motivation for Their Academic Achievement – Replicating and Extending Previous Findings

Ricarda steinmayr.

1 Department of Psychology, TU Dortmund University, Dortmund, Germany

Anne F. Weidinger

Malte schwinger.

2 Department of Psychology, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Marburg, Germany

Birgit Spinath

3 Department of Psychology, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg, Germany

Associated Data

The datasets generated for this study are available on request to the corresponding author.

Achievement motivation is not a single construct but rather subsumes a variety of different constructs like ability self-concepts, task values, goals, and achievement motives. The few existing studies that investigated diverse motivational constructs as predictors of school students’ academic achievement above and beyond students’ cognitive abilities and prior achievement showed that most motivational constructs predicted academic achievement beyond intelligence and that students’ ability self-concepts and task values are more powerful in predicting their achievement than goals and achievement motives. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the reported previous findings can be replicated when ability self-concepts, task values, goals, and achievement motives are all assessed at the same level of specificity as the achievement criteria (e.g., hope for success in math and math grades). The sample comprised 345 11th and 12th grade students ( M = 17.48 years old, SD = 1.06) from the highest academic track (Gymnasium) in Germany. Students self-reported their ability self-concepts, task values, goal orientations, and achievement motives in math, German, and school in general. Additionally, we assessed their intelligence and their current and prior Grade point average and grades in math and German. Relative weight analyses revealed that domain-specific ability self-concept, motives, task values and learning goals but not performance goals explained a significant amount of variance in grades above all other predictors of which ability self-concept was the strongest predictor. Results are discussed with respect to their implications for investigating motivational constructs with different theoretical foundation.


Achievement motivation energizes and directs behavior toward achievement and therefore is known to be an important determinant of academic success (e.g., Robbins et al., 2004 ; Hattie, 2009 ; Plante et al., 2013 ; Wigfield et al., 2016 ). Achievement motivation is not a single construct but rather subsumes a variety of different constructs like motivational beliefs, task values, goals, and achievement motives (see Murphy and Alexander, 2000 ; Wigfield and Cambria, 2010 ; Wigfield et al., 2016 ). Nevertheless, there is still a limited number of studies, that investigated (1) diverse motivational constructs in relation to students’ academic achievement in one sample and (2) additionally considered students’ cognitive abilities and their prior achievement ( Steinmayr and Spinath, 2009 ; Kriegbaum et al., 2015 ). Because students’ cognitive abilities and their prior achievement are among the best single predictors of academic success (e.g., Kuncel et al., 2004 ; Hailikari et al., 2007 ), it is necessary to include them in the analyses when evaluating the importance of motivational factors for students’ achievement. Steinmayr and Spinath (2009) did so and revealed that students’ domain-specific ability self-concepts followed by domain-specific task values were the best predictors of students’ math and German grades compared to students’ goals and achievement motives. However, a flaw of their study is that they did not assess all motivational constructs at the same level of specificity as the achievement criteria. For example, achievement motives were measured on a domain-general level (e.g., “Difficult problems appeal to me”), whereas students’ achievement as well as motivational beliefs and task values were assessed domain-specifically (e.g., math grades, math self-concept, math task values). The importance of students’ achievement motives for math and German grades might have been underestimated because the specificity levels of predictor and criterion variables did not match (e.g., Ajzen and Fishbein, 1977 ; Baranik et al., 2010 ). The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the seminal findings by Steinmayr and Spinath (2009) will hold when motivational beliefs, task values, goals, and achievement motives are all assessed at the same level of specificity as the achievement criteria. This is an important question with respect to motivation theory and future research in this field. Moreover, based on the findings it might be possible to better judge which kind of motivation should especially be fostered in school to improve achievement. This is important information for interventions aiming at enhancing students’ motivation in school.

Theoretical Relations Between Achievement Motivation and Academic Achievement

We take a social-cognitive approach to motivation (see also Pintrich et al., 1993 ; Elliot and Church, 1997 ; Wigfield and Cambria, 2010 ). This approach emphasizes the important role of students’ beliefs and their interpretations of actual events, as well as the role of the achievement context for motivational dynamics (see Weiner, 1992 ; Pintrich et al., 1993 ; Wigfield and Cambria, 2010 ). Social cognitive models of achievement motivation (e.g., expectancy-value theory by Eccles and Wigfield, 2002 ; hierarchical model of achievement motivation by Elliot and Church, 1997 ) comprise a variety of motivation constructs that can be organized in two broad categories (see Pintrich et al., 1993 , p. 176): students’ “beliefs about their capability to perform a task,” also called expectancy components (e.g., ability self-concepts, self-efficacy), and their “motivational beliefs about their reasons for choosing to do a task,” also called value components (e.g., task values, goals). The literature on motivation constructs from these categories is extensive (see Wigfield and Cambria, 2010 ). In this article, we focus on selected constructs, namely students’ ability self-concepts (from the category “expectancy components of motivation”), and their task values and goal orientations (from the category “value components of motivation”).

According to the social cognitive perspective, students’ motivation is relatively situation or context specific (see Pintrich et al., 1993 ). To gain a comprehensive picture of the relation between students’ motivation and their academic achievement, we additionally take into account a traditional personality model of motivation, the theory of the achievement motive ( McClelland et al., 1953 ), according to which students’ motivation is conceptualized as a relatively stable trait. Thus, we consider the achievement motives hope for success and fear of failure besides students’ ability self-concepts, their task values, and goal orientations in this article. In the following, we describe the motivation constructs in more detail.

Students’ ability self-concepts are defined as cognitive representations of their ability level ( Marsh, 1990 ; Wigfield et al., 2016 ). Ability self-concepts have been shown to be domain-specific from the early school years on (e.g., Wigfield et al., 1997 ). Consequently, they are frequently assessed with regard to a certain domain (e.g., with regard to school in general vs. with regard to math).

In the present article, task values are defined in the sense of the expectancy-value model by Eccles et al. (1983) and Eccles and Wigfield (2002) . According to the expectancy-value model there are three task values that should be positively associated with achievement, namely intrinsic values, utility value, and personal importance ( Eccles and Wigfield, 1995 ). Because task values are domain-specific from the early school years on (e.g., Eccles et al., 1993 ; Eccles and Wigfield, 1995 ), they are also assessed with reference to specific subjects (e.g., “How much do you like math?”) or on a more general level with regard to school in general (e.g., “How much do you like going to school?”).

Students’ goal orientations are broader cognitive orientations that students have toward their learning and they reflect the reasons for doing a task (see Dweck and Leggett, 1988 ). Therefore, they fall in the broad category of “value components of motivation.” Initially, researchers distinguished between learning and performance goals when describing goal orientations ( Nicholls, 1984 ; Dweck and Leggett, 1988 ). Learning goals (“task involvement” or “mastery goals”) describe people’s willingness to improve their skills, learn new things, and develop their competence, whereas performance goals (“ego involvement”) focus on demonstrating one’s higher competence and hiding one’s incompetence relative to others (e.g., Elliot and McGregor, 2001 ). Performance goals were later further subdivided into performance-approach (striving to demonstrate competence) and performance-avoidance goals (striving to avoid looking incompetent, e.g., Elliot and Church, 1997 ; Middleton and Midgley, 1997 ). Some researchers have included work avoidance as another component of achievement goals (e.g., Nicholls, 1984 ; Harackiewicz et al., 1997 ). Work avoidance refers to the goal of investing as little effort as possible ( Kumar and Jagacinski, 2011 ). Goal orientations can be assessed in reference to specific subjects (e.g., math) or on a more general level (e.g., in reference to school in general).

McClelland et al. (1953) distinguish the achievement motives hope for success (i.e., positive emotions and the belief that one can succeed) and fear of failure (i.e., negative emotions and the fear that the achievement situation is out of one’s depth). According to McClelland’s definition, need for achievement is measured by describing affective experiences or associations such as fear or joy in achievement situations. Achievement motives are conceptualized as being relatively stable over time. Consequently, need for achievement is theorized to be domain-general and, thus, usually assessed without referring to a certain domain or situation (e.g., Steinmayr and Spinath, 2009 ). However, Sparfeldt and Rost (2011) demonstrated that operationalizing achievement motives subject-specifically is psychometrically useful and results in better criterion validities compared with a domain-general operationalization.

Empirical Evidence on the Relative Importance of Achievement Motivation Constructs for Academic Achievement

A myriad of single studies (e.g., Linnenbrink-Garcia et al., 2018 ; Muenks et al., 2018 ; Steinmayr et al., 2018 ) and several meta-analyses (e.g., Robbins et al., 2004 ; Möller et al., 2009 ; Hulleman et al., 2010 ; Huang, 2011 ) support the hypothesis of social cognitive motivation models that students’ motivational beliefs are significantly related to their academic achievement. However, to judge the relative importance of motivation constructs for academic achievement, studies need (1) to investigate diverse motivational constructs in one sample and (2) to consider students’ cognitive abilities and their prior achievement, too, because the latter are among the best single predictors of academic success (e.g., Kuncel et al., 2004 ; Hailikari et al., 2007 ). For effective educational policy and school reform, it is crucial to obtain robust empirical evidence for whether various motivational constructs can explain variance in school performance over and above intelligence and prior achievement. Without including the latter constructs, we might overestimate the importance of motivation for achievement. Providing evidence that students’ achievement motivation is incrementally valid in predicting their academic achievement beyond their intelligence or prior achievement would emphasize the necessity of designing appropriate interventions for improving students’ school-related motivation.

There are several studies that included expectancy and value components of motivation as predictors of students’ academic achievement (grades or test scores) and additionally considered students’ prior achievement ( Marsh et al., 2005 ; Steinmayr et al., 2018 , Study 1) or their intelligence ( Spinath et al., 2006 ; Lotz et al., 2018 ; Schneider et al., 2018 ; Steinmayr et al., 2018 , Study 2, Weber et al., 2013 ). However, only few studies considered intelligence and prior achievement together with more than two motivational constructs as predictors of school students’ achievement ( Steinmayr and Spinath, 2009 ; Kriegbaum et al., 2015 ). Kriegbaum et al. (2015) examined two expectancy components (i.e., ability self-concept and self-efficacy) and eight value components (i.e., interest, enjoyment, usefulness, learning goals, performance-approach, performance-avoidance goals, and work avoidance) in the domain of math. Steinmayr and Spinath (2009) investigated the role of an expectancy component (i.e., ability self-concept), five value components (i.e., task values, learning goals, performance-approach, performance-avoidance goals, and work avoidance), and students’ achievement motives (i.e., hope for success, fear of failure, and need for achievement) for students’ grades in math and German and their GPA. Both studies used relative weights analyses to compare the predictive power of all variables simultaneously while taking into account multicollinearity of the predictors ( Johnson and LeBreton, 2004 ; Tonidandel and LeBreton, 2011 ). Findings showed that – after controlling for differences in students‘ intelligence and their prior achievement – expectancy components (ability self-concept, self-efficacy) were the best motivational predictors of achievement followed by task values (i.e., intrinsic/enjoyment, attainment, and utility), need for achievement and learning goals ( Steinmayr and Spinath, 2009 ; Kriegbaum et al., 2015 ). However, Steinmayr and Spinath (2009) who investigated the relations in three different domains did not assess all motivational constructs on the same level of specificity as the achievement criteria. More precisely, students’ achievement as well as motivational beliefs and task values were assessed domain-specifically (e.g., math grades, math self-concept, math task values), whereas students’ goals were only measured for school in general (e.g., “In school it is important for me to learn as much as possible”) and students’ achievement motives were only measured on a domain-general level (e.g., “Difficult problems appeal to me”). Thus, the importance of goals and achievement motives for math and German grades might have been underestimated because the specificity levels of predictor and criterion variables did not match (e.g., Ajzen and Fishbein, 1977 ; Baranik et al., 2010 ). Assessing students’ goals and their achievement motives with reference to a specific subject might result in higher associations with domain-specific achievement criteria (see Sparfeldt and Rost, 2011 ).

Taken together, although previous work underlines the important roles of expectancy and value components of motivation for school students’ academic achievement, hitherto, we know little about the relative importance of expectancy components, task values, goals, and achievement motives in different domains when all of them are assessed at the same level of specificity as the achievement criteria (e.g., achievement motives in math → math grades; ability self-concept for school → GPA).

The Present Research

The goal of the present study was to examine the relative importance of several of the most important achievement motivation constructs in predicting school students’ achievement. We substantially extend previous work in this field by considering (1) diverse motivational constructs, (2) students’ intelligence and their prior achievement as achievement predictors in one sample, and (3) by assessing all predictors on the same level of specificity as the achievement criteria. Moreover, we investigated the relations in three different domains: school in general, math, and German. Because there is no study that assessed students’ goal orientations and achievement motives besides their ability self-concept and task values on the same level of specificity as the achievement criteria, we could not derive any specific hypotheses on the relative importance of these constructs, but instead investigated the following research question (RQ):

RQ. What is the relative importance of students’ domain-specific ability self-concepts, task values, goal orientations, and achievement motives for their grades in the respective domain when including all of them, students’ intelligence and prior achievement simultaneously in the analytic models?

Materials and Methods

Participants and procedure.

A sample of 345 students was recruited from two German schools attending the highest academic track (Gymnasium). Only 11th graders participated at one school, whereas 11th and 12th graders participated at the other. Students of the different grades and schools did not differ significantly on any of the assessed measures. Students represented the typical population of this type of school in Germany; that is, the majority was Caucasian and came from medium to high socioeconomic status homes. At the time of testing, students were on average 17.48 years old ( SD = 1.06). As is typical for this kind of school, the sample comprised more girls ( n = 200) than boys ( n = 145). We verify that the study is in accordance with established ethical guidelines. Approval by an ethics committee was not required as per the institution’s guidelines and applicable regulations in the federal state where the study was conducted. Participation was voluntarily and no deception took place. Before testing, we received written informed consent forms from the students and from the parents of the students who were under the age of 18 on the day of the testing. If students did not want to participate, they could spend the testing time in their teacher’s room with an extra assignment. All students agreed to participate. Testing took place during regular classes in schools in 2013. Tests were administered by trained research assistants and lasted about 2.5 h. Students filled in the achievement motivation questionnaires first, and the intelligence test was administered afterward. Before the intelligence test, there was a short break.

Ability Self-Concept

Students’ ability self-concepts were assessed with four items per domain ( Schöne et al., 2002 ). Students indicated on a 5-point scale ranging from 1 (totally disagree) to 5 (totally agree) how good they thought they were at different activities in school in general, math, and German (“I am good at school in general/math/German,” “It is easy to for me to learn in school in general/math/German,” “In school in general/math/German, I know a lot,” and “Most assignments in school/math/German are easy for me”). Internal consistency (Cronbach’s α) of the ability self-concept scale was high in school in general, in math, and in German (0.82 ≤ α ≤ 0.95; see Table 1 ).

Means ( M ), Standard Deviations ( SD ), and Reliabilities (α) for all measures.

Task Values

Students’ task values were assessed with an established German scale (SESSW; Subjective scholastic value scale; Steinmayr and Spinath, 2010 ). The measure is an adaptation of items used by Eccles and Wigfield (1995) in different studies. It assesses intrinsic values, utility, and personal importance with three items each. Students indicated on a 5-point scale ranging from 1 (totally disagree) to 5 (totally agree) how much they valued school in general, math, and German (Intrinsic values: “I like school/math/German,” “I enjoy doing things in school/math/German,” and “I find school in general/math/German interesting”; Utility: “How useful is what you learn in school/math/German in general?,” “School/math/German will be useful in my future,” “The things I learn in school/math/German will be of use in my future life”; Personal importance: “Being good at school/math/German is important to me,” “To be good at school/math/German means a lot to me,” “Attainment in school/math/German is important to me”). Internal consistency of the values scale was high in all domains (0.90 ≤ α ≤ 0.93; see Table 1 ).

Goal Orientations

Students’ goal orientations were assessed with an established German self-report measure (SELLMO; Scales for measuring learning and achievement motivation; Spinath et al., 2002 ). In accordance with Sparfeldt et al. (2007) , we assessed goal orientations with regard to different domains: school in general, math, and German. In each domain, we used the SELLMO to assess students’ learning goals, performance-avoidance goals, and work avoidance with eight items each and their performance-approach goals with seven items. Students’ answered the items on a 5-point scale ranging from 1 (totally disagree) to 5 (totally agree). All items except for the work avoidance items are printed in Spinath and Steinmayr (2012) , p. 1148). A sample item to assess work avoidance is: “In school/math/German, it is important to me to do as little work as possible.” Internal consistency of the learning goals scale was high in all domains (0.83 ≤ α ≤ 0.88). The same was true for performance-approach goals (0.85 ≤ α ≤ 0.88), performance-avoidance goals (α = 0.89), and work avoidance (0.91 ≤ α ≤ 0.92; see Table 1 ).

Achievement Motives

Achievement motives were assessed with the Achievement Motives Scale (AMS; Gjesme and Nygard, 1970 ; Göttert and Kuhl, 1980 ). In the present study, we used a short form measuring “hope for success” and “fear of failure” with the seven items per subscale that showed the highest factor loadings. Both subscales were assessed in three domains: school in general, math, and German. Students’ answered all items on a 4-point scale ranging from 1 (does not apply at all) to 4 (fully applies). An example hope for success item is “In school/math/German, difficult problems appeal to me,” and an example fear of failure item is “In school/math/German, matters that are slightly difficult disconcert me.” Internal consistencies of hope for success and fear of failure scales were high in all domains (hope for success: 0.88 ≤ α ≤ 0.92; fear of failure: 0.90 ≤ α ≤ 0.91; see Table 1 ).


Intelligence was measured with the basic module of the Intelligence Structure Test 2000 R, a well-established German multifactor intelligence measure (I-S-T 2000 R; Amthauer et al., 2001 ). The basic module of the test offers assessments of domain-specific intelligence for verbal, numeric, and figural abilities as well as an overall intelligence score (a composite of the three facets). The overall intelligence score is thought to measure reasoning as a higher order factor of intelligence and can be interpreted as a measure of general intelligence, g . Its construct validity has been demonstrated in several studies ( Amthauer et al., 2001 ; Steinmayr and Amelang, 2006 ). In the present study, we used the scores that were closest to the domains we investigated: overall intelligence, numerical intelligence, and verbal intelligence (see also Steinmayr and Spinath, 2009 ). Raw values could range from 0 to 60 for verbal and numerical intelligence, and from 0 to 180 for overall intelligence. Internal consistencies of all intelligence scales were high (0.71 ≤ α ≤ 0.90; see Table 1 ).

Academic Achievement

For all students, the school delivered the report cards that the students received 3 months before testing (t0) and 4 months after testing (t2), at the end of the term in which testing took place. We assessed students’ grades in German and math as well as their overall grade point average (GPA) as criteria for school performance. GPA was computed as the mean of all available grades, not including grades in the nonacademic domains Sports and Music/Art as they did not correlate with the other grades. Grades ranged from 1 to 6, and were recoded so that higher numbers represented better performance.

Statistical Analyses

We conducted relative weight analyses to predict students’ academic achievement separately in math, German, and school in general. The relative weight analysis is a statistical procedure that enables to determine the relative importance of each predictor in a multiple regression analysis (“relative weight”) and to take adequately into account the multicollinearity of the different motivational constructs (for details, see Johnson and LeBreton, 2004 ; Tonidandel and LeBreton, 2011 ). Basically, it uses a variable transformation approach to create a new set of predictors that are orthogonal to one another (i.e., uncorrelated). Then, the criterion is regressed on these new orthogonal predictors, and the resulting standardized regression coefficients can be used because they no longer suffer from the deleterious effects of multicollinearity. These standardized regression weights are then transformed back into the metric of the original predictors. The rescaled relative weight of a predictor can easily be transformed into the percentage of variance that is uniquely explained by this predictor when dividing the relative weight of the specific predictor by the total variance explained by all predictors in the regression model ( R 2 ). We performed the relative weight analyses in three steps. In Model 1, we included the different achievement motivation variables assessed in the respective domain in the analyses. In Model 2, we entered intelligence into the analyses in addition to the achievement motivation variables. In Model 3, we included prior school performance indicated by grades measured before testing in addition to all of the motivation variables and intelligence. For all three steps, we tested for whether all relative weight factors differed significantly from each other (see Johnson, 2004 ) to determine which motivational construct was most important in predicting academic achievement (RQ).

Descriptive Statistics and Intercorrelations

Table 1 shows means, standard deviations, and reliabilities. Tables 2 –4 show the correlations between all scales in school in general, in math, and in German. Of particular relevance here, are the correlations between the motivational constructs and students’ school grades. In all three domains (i.e., school in general/math/German), out of all motivational predictor variables, students’ ability self-concepts showed the strongest associations with subsequent grades ( r = 0.53/0.61/0.46; see Tables 2 –4 ). Except for students’ performance-avoidance goals (−0.04 ≤ r ≤ 0.07, p > 0.05), the other motivational constructs were also significantly related to school grades. Most of the respective correlations were evenly dispersed around a moderate effect size of | r | = 0.30.

Intercorrelations between all variables in school in general.

Intercorrelations between all variables in German.

Intercorrelations between all variables in math.

Relative Weight Analyses

Table 5 presents the results of the relative weight analyses. In Model 1 (only motivational variables) and Model 2 (motivation and intelligence), respectively, the overall explained variance was highest for math grades ( R 2 = 0.42 and R 2 = 0.42, respectively) followed by GPA ( R 2 = 0.30 and R 2 = 0.34, respectively) and grades in German ( R 2 = 0.26 and R 2 = 0.28, respectively). When prior school grades were additionally considered (Model 3) the largest amount of variance was explained in students’ GPA ( R 2 = 0.73), followed by grades in German ( R 2 = 0.59) and math ( R 2 = 0.57). In the following, we will describe the results of Model 3 for each domain in more detail.

Relative weights and percentages of explained criterion variance (%) for all motivational constructs (Model 1) plus intelligence (Model 2) plus prior school achievement (Model 3).

Beginning with the prediction of students’ GPA: In Model 3, students’ prior GPA explained more variance in subsequent GPA than all other predictor variables (68%). Students’ ability self-concept explained significantly less variance than prior GPA but still more than all other predictors that we considered (14%). The relative weights of students’ intelligence (5%), task values (2%), hope for success (4%), and fear of failure (3%) did not differ significantly from each other but were still significantly different from zero ( p < 0.05). The relative weights of students’ goal orientations were not significant in Model 3.

Turning to math grades: The findings of the relative weight analyses for the prediction of math grades differed slightly from the prediction of GPA. In Model 3, the relative weights of numerical intelligence (2%) and performance-approach goals (2%) in math were no longer different from zero ( p > 0.05); in Model 2 they were. Prior math grades explained the largest share of the unique variance in subsequent math grades (45%), followed by math self-concept (19%). The relative weights of students’ math task values (9%), learning goals (5%), work avoidance (7%), and hope for success (6%) did not differ significantly from each other. Students’ fear of failure in math explained the smallest amount of unique variance in their math grades (4%) but the relative weight of students’ fear of failure did not differ significantly from that of students’ hope for success, work avoidance, and learning goals. The relative weights of students’ performance-avoidance goals were not significant in Model 3.

Turning to German grades: In Model 3, students’ prior grade in German was the strongest predictor (64%), followed by German self-concept (10%). Students’ fear of failure in German (6%), their verbal intelligence (4%), task values (4%), learning goals (4%), and hope for success (4%) explained less variance in German grades and did not differ significantly from each other but were significantly different from zero ( p < 0.05). The relative weights of students’ performance goals and work avoidance were not significant in Model 3.

In the present studies, we aimed to investigate the relative importance of several achievement motivation constructs in predicting students’ academic achievement. We sought to overcome the limitations of previous research in this field by (1) considering several theoretically and empirically distinct motivational constructs, (2) students’ intelligence, and their prior achievement, and (3) by assessing all predictors at the same level of specificity as the achievement criteria. We applied sophisticated statistical procedures to investigate the relations in three different domains, namely school in general, math, and German.

Relative Importance of Achievement Motivation Constructs for Academic Achievement

Out of the motivational predictor variables, students’ ability self-concepts explained the largest amount of variance in their academic achievement across all sets of analyses and across all investigated domains. Even when intelligence and prior grades were controlled for, students’ ability self-concepts accounted for at least 10% of the variance in the criterion. The relative superiority of ability self-perceptions is in line with the available literature on this topic (e.g., Steinmayr and Spinath, 2009 ; Kriegbaum et al., 2015 ; Steinmayr et al., 2018 ) and with numerous studies that have investigated the relations between students’ self-concept and their achievement (e.g., Möller et al., 2009 ; Huang, 2011 ). Ability self-concepts showed even higher relative weights than the corresponding intelligence scores. Whereas some previous studies have suggested that self-concepts and intelligence are at least equally important when predicting students’ grades (e.g., Steinmayr and Spinath, 2009 ; Weber et al., 2013 ; Schneider et al., 2018 ), our findings indicate that it might be even more important to believe in own school-related abilities than to possess outstanding cognitive capacities to achieve good grades (see also Lotz et al., 2018 ). Such a conclusion was supported by the fact that we examined the relative importance of all predictor variables across three domains and at the same levels of specificity, thus maximizing criterion-related validity (see Baranik et al., 2010 ). This procedure represents a particular strength of our study and sets it apart from previous studies in the field (e.g., Steinmayr and Spinath, 2009 ). Alternatively, our findings could be attributed to the sample we investigated at least to some degree. The students examined in the present study were selected for the academic track in Germany, and this makes them rather homogeneous in their cognitive abilities. It is therefore plausible to assume that the restricted variance in intelligence scores decreased the respective criterion validities.

When all variables were assessed at the same level of specificity, the achievement motives hope for success and fear of failure were the second and third best motivational predictors of academic achievement and more important than in the study by Steinmayr and Spinath (2009) . This result underlines the original conceptualization of achievement motives as broad personal tendencies that energize approach or avoidance behavior across different contexts and situations ( Elliot, 2006 ). However, the explanatory power of achievement motives was higher in the more specific domains of math and German, thereby also supporting the suggestion made by Sparfeldt and Rost (2011) to conceptualize achievement motives more domain-specifically. Conceptually, achievement motives and ability self-concepts are closely related. Individuals who believe in their ability to succeed often show greater hope for success than fear of failure and vice versa ( Brunstein and Heckhausen, 2008 ). It is thus not surprising that the two constructs showed similar stability in their relative effects on academic achievement across the three investigated domains. Concerning the specific mechanisms through which students’ achievement motives and ability self-concepts affect their achievement, it seems that they elicit positive or negative valences in students, and these valences in turn serve as simple but meaningful triggers of (un)successful school-related behavior. The large and consistent effects for students’ ability self-concept and their hope for success in our study support recommendations from positive psychology that individuals think positively about the future and regularly provide affirmation to themselves by reminding themselves of their positive attributes ( Seligman and Csikszentmihalyi, 2000 ). Future studies could investigate mediation processes. Theoretically, it would make sense that achievement motives defined as broad personal tendencies affect academic achievement via expectancy beliefs like ability self-concepts (e.g., expectancy-value theory by Eccles and Wigfield, 2002 ; see also, Atkinson, 1957 ).

Although task values and learning goals did not contribute much toward explaining the variance in GPA, these two constructs became even more important for explaining variance in math and German grades. As Elliot (2006) pointed out in his hierarchical model of approach-avoidance motivation, achievement motives serve as basic motivational principles that energize behavior. However, they do not guide the precise direction of the energized behavior. Instead, goals and task values are commonly recruited to strategically guide this basic motivation toward concrete aims that address the underlying desire or concern. Our results are consistent with Elliot’s (2006) suggestions. Whereas basic achievement motives are equally important at abstract and specific achievement levels, task values and learning goals release their full explanatory power with increasing context-specificity as they affect students’ concrete actions in a given school subject. At this level of abstraction, task values and learning goals compete with more extrinsic forms of motivation, such as performance goals. Contrary to several studies in achievement-goal research, we did not demonstrate the importance of either performance-approach or performance-avoidance goals for academic achievement.

Whereas students’ ability self-concept showed a high relative importance above and beyond intelligence, with few exceptions, each of the remaining motivation constructs explained less than 5% of the variance in students’ academic achievement in the full model including intelligence measures. One might argue that the high relative importance of students’ ability self-concept is not surprising because students’ ability self-concepts more strongly depend on prior grades than the other motivation constructs. Prior grades represent performance feedback and enable achievement comparisons that are seen as the main determinants of students’ ability self-concepts (see Skaalvik and Skaalvik, 2002 ). However, we included students’ prior grades in the analyses and students’ ability self-concepts still were the most powerful predictors of academic achievement out of the achievement motivation constructs that were considered. It is thus reasonable to conclude that the high relative importance of students’ subjective beliefs about their abilities is not only due to the overlap of this believes with prior achievement.

Limitations and Suggestions for Further Research

Our study confirms and extends the extant work on the power of students’ ability self-concept net of other important motivation variables even when important methodological aspects are considered. Strength of the study is the simultaneous investigation of different achievement motivation constructs in different academic domains. Nevertheless, we restricted the range of motivation constructs to ability self-concepts, task values, goal orientations, and achievement motives. It might be interesting to replicate the findings with other motivation constructs such as academic self-efficacy ( Pajares, 2003 ), individual interest ( Renninger and Hidi, 2011 ), or autonomous versus controlled forms of motivation ( Ryan and Deci, 2000 ). However, these constructs are conceptually and/or empirically very closely related to the motivation constructs we considered (e.g., Eccles and Wigfield, 1995 ; Marsh et al., 2018 ). Thus, it might well be the case that we would find very similar results for self-efficacy instead of ability self-concept as one example.

A second limitation is that we only focused on linear relations between motivation and achievement using a variable-centered approach. Studies that considered different motivation constructs and used person-centered approaches revealed that motivation factors interact with each other and that there are different profiles of motivation that are differently related to students’ achievement (e.g., Conley, 2012 ; Schwinger et al., 2016 ). An important avenue for future studies on students’ motivation is to further investigate these interactions in different academic domains.

Another limitation that might suggest a potential avenue for future research is the fact that we used only grades as an indicator of academic achievement. Although, grades are of high practical relevance for the students, they do not necessarily indicate how much students have learned, how much they know and how creative they are in the respective domain (e.g., Walton and Spencer, 2009 ). Moreover, there is empirical evidence that the prediction of academic achievement differs according to the particular criterion that is chosen (e.g., Lotz et al., 2018 ). Using standardized test performance instead of grades might lead to different results.

Our study is also limited to 11th and 12th graders attending the highest academic track in Germany. More balanced samples are needed to generalize the findings. A recent study ( Ben-Eliyahu, 2019 ) that investigated the relations between different motivational constructs (i.e., goal orientations, expectancies, and task values) and self-regulated learning in university students revealed higher relations for gifted students than for typical students. This finding indicates that relations between different aspects of motivation might differ between academically selected samples and unselected samples.

Finally, despite the advantages of relative weight analyses, this procedure also has some shortcomings. Most important, it is based on manifest variables. Thus, differences in criterion validity might be due in part to differences in measurement error. However, we are not aware of a latent procedure that is comparable to relative weight analyses. It might be one goal for methodological research to overcome this shortcoming.

We conducted the present research to identify how different aspects of students’ motivation uniquely contribute to differences in students’ achievement. Our study demonstrated the relative importance of students’ ability self-concepts, their task values, learning goals, and achievement motives for students’ grades in different academic subjects above and beyond intelligence and prior achievement. Findings thus broaden our knowledge on the role of students’ motivation for academic achievement. Students’ ability self-concept turned out to be the most important motivational predictor of students’ grades above and beyond differences in their intelligence and prior grades, even when all predictors were assessed domain-specifically. Out of two students with similar intelligence scores, same prior achievement, and similar task values, goals and achievement motives in a domain, the student with a higher domain-specific ability self-concept will receive better school grades in the respective domain. Therefore, there is strong evidence that believing in own competencies is advantageous with respect to academic achievement. This finding shows once again that it is a promising approach to implement validated interventions aiming at enhancing students’ domain-specific ability-beliefs in school (see also Muenks et al., 2017 ; Steinmayr et al., 2018 ).

Data Availability

Ethics statement.

In Germany, institutional approval was not required by default at the time the study was conducted. That is, why we cannot provide a formal approval by the institutional ethics committee. We verify that the study is in accordance with established ethical guidelines. Participation was voluntarily and no deception took place. Before testing, we received informed consent forms from the parents of the students who were under the age of 18 on the day of the testing. If students did not want to participate, they could spend the testing time in their teacher’s room with an extra assignment. All students agreed to participate. We included this information also in the manuscript.

Author Contributions

RS conceived and supervised the study, curated the data, performed the formal analysis, investigated the results, developed the methodology, administered the project, and wrote, reviewed, and edited the manuscript. AW wrote, reviewed, and edited the manuscript. MS performed the formal analysis, and wrote, reviewed, and edited the manuscript. BS conceived the study, and wrote, reviewed, and edited the manuscript.

Conflict of Interest Statement

The authors declare that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest.

Funding. We acknowledge financial support by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and Technische Universität Dortmund/TU Dortmund University within the funding programme Open Access Publishing.

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Motivation is probably the most important factor that educators can target in order to improve learning. However, this essay aims at using the expectancy theory to explain how a course coordinator would increase student motivation to complete assignments and tests to a high standard, to participate in the discussion in class and also to read prior to the class. It is very important to understand the key terms of our topic so as not to divert from the main aim, hence, defining these key terms such as motivation and expectancy theory. Thereafter, the essay will discuss in detail how the three components of the expectancy theory which are expectancy, instrumentality and valence relates to student's motivation to complete assignments, tests to a high standard, to participate in the discussion in class and also to read prior to the class. Further, when all the necessary angles are uncovered, the conclusion will be drawn.

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Essay on Motivation for Students in English [500 Words Essay]

January 2, 2021 by Sandeep

Essay on Motivation: A person’s mind blossoms like a flower and builds a beautiful personality when it is led by motivation. It encourages a person to put his thoughts and dreams into actions. It drives him to perform hard work combined with perseverance. Motivated persons show high amounts of zeal to achieve success at any cost. They build competitive spirits and show good stability in work. For enhanced personal and professional growth, we should read and listen to motivational stories.

Essay on Motivation 500 Words in English

Below we have provided Motivation Essay in English, suitable for class 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10.

Don’t be pushed around by the fears in your mind. Be led by the dreams in your heart. – Roy T. Bennett

Motivation is a state of mind in which one’s energy is guided towards a particular goal. You are determined to perform in a specific manner to generate good results and get the end reward. Motivation in life is as essential as hope. You need to stay motivated to achieve your dreams and aspirations. Numerous things motivate us as human beings. Encouragement from our peers and our families makes us feel more confident and surer about the path that we are pursuing. It fills us with self-belief and a stronger will.

We are motivated by the rewards that await us at the end. They may be monetary and even non-monetary comprising of inner satisfaction and recognition. We also continuously look for opportunities around us. We thrive on proving ourselves and are motivated at the thought of taking up challenges on a day to day basis. Competition is also a great motivator. It may be with the top performers in the class or even between companies to get the highest market share.

Types of Motivation

There are broadly two types of motivation-:

Intrinsic Motivation: This type of motivation comes from within. For example, Riya wants to reduce her weight to fit in a beautiful dress that she purchased two years ago. This goal of hers will motivate her internally to slim down. Intrinsic motivation is guided by interest, sense of achievement and curiosity of a person. It gives them a purpose and acts as a drive to achieve that purpose. This type of motivation is personally rewarding.

Extrinsic Motivation: Human behaviour in this type of motivation is guided by external rewards such as money, praise, promotion, recognition, grades, etc. For example, Paul, a sales agent, wants to earn a little more this month and hence he is motivated to sell more than what his target is. A student might study more and perform well in exams because he or she wants praise and appreciation from his or her teachers and parents. This type of motivation is always guided by what others give us.

Benefits of Being Motivated

In organisations, if you have a motivated workforce, then you can save on a lot of extra costs. If the employees are motivated internally because of a friendly work environment, transparency and other factors, then they tend to learn more themselves and hence, your training costs are reduced. The absenteeism and employee turnover are low, and they become assets of your company. There is also a reduction in wastage and increased productivity leading to improvement in quality and performance.

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Essays On Motivation for Students In The Classroom

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Teaching , Students , Strategy , Goals , Learning , Classroom , Realism , Motivation

Words: 1300

Published: 12/07/2019


Motivating Students in the Classroom

Learning in the classroom is largely dependent on the levels of motivation amongst the students. While certain students are naturally enthusiastic, others require inspiration and stimulation. A teacher has an important role to play in motivating a student. Each student has an individual level of motivation, which should be enhanced by the teacher. A student can be intrinsically motivated which means that motivation stems from self interest, desire to acquire knowledge on the subject material, and a sense of enjoyment (Kirk, 2011). A student can also be extrinsically motivated; this means that the student’s desire to succeed is fuelled by a desire to achieve a certain goal, for example, to pass examinations (Davis, 2011). The teacher influences motivation through his teaching style, behavior, course structure, type of assignments, and informal interactions with pupils (Davis, 2011).

General Strategies for Motivating Students

It is best to understand what the existing needs of the students are before capitalizing on them. A student will be more motivated if the incentives offered in studying the course will fulfill their personal motives for taking up the course (Kirk, 2011). Examples of motives could be: the need to learn a particular skill so as to complete an activity; to explore new experiences; the need to sharpen skills to surmount challenges; achieve competency; or to interact with others. When the course is able to satisfy these needs, the student will feel rewarded and will be able to keep up the learning process better than the prospect of high grades. As emphasized by Davis, (2011), the teacher should be able to design the assignments, discussions, and class activities to attend to these needs. Students should also be encouraged to participate actively in class activities. They should be involved in creating, designing, writing, solving, and doing things so as to help them in their learning process (Kirk, 2011). It is usually better to solve a problem or ask a question rather than telling it to them directly. The students can be asked to suggest various solutions to a problem or the outcome of an experiment, this serves to engage them mentally in the class. In addition, group work should be encouraged whenever possible. All these techniques serve to ensure that the students are participating actively in their classrooms (Davis, 2011).

A teacher can also involve the students in finding out what makes the students find their classes motivating. This can be done by asking students to recall a class where they were highly motivated and to articulate what aspects made the class fulfilling (Davis, 2011). Similarly, they can be asked to recall a class where they lacked motivation and articulate the aspects which caused this unfortunate state. In this way, the teacher may be able to formulate and restructure a course to impart maximum motivation to the student.

Specific Strategies in Motivating Students

Incorporating Motivating Instructional Behaviors The teacher should display high expectations which are realistic. Kirk, (2011), points out that when a teacher holds the student’s potential in high regard, the student may fill more motivated and inspired. When the teacher projects the message to the students that they can be hardworking and interested in the course, the students are likely to conform to that image. When preparing assignments, examinations, or presentations, the teacher should set realistic goals for the students. Realistic goals are those which are high enough to be met, but not too high as to inevitably frustrate the students. It is vital that the student believes that he or she can achieve the goal; the teacher must therefore provide the students with the occasions for success (Davis, 2011). The students should be helped to set their own goals which they can achieve. They should be supported in focusing on continual improvement, not on succeeding in one exam or test. The personal goals which are set should be attainable so that the student does not get frustrated in the process of trying to achieve unattainable goals (Davis, 2011). The teacher should be engaged in assisting the student to evaluate progress through self-critique, strength analysis, and improving weaknesses. As a teacher, it is good to tell students what the requirements are to succeed in your class. This will help them to have a clear picture and set goals accordingly. The teacher should also position himself or herself as being approachable to solve problems or address inquiries (Kirk, 2011). The teacher should help the student get self motivated by using language which implies the success of the student and not emphasize the teacher’s authority or create too much competition amongst the students. It is more productive to have the students work as teams and focus on self improvement than to encourage competition between them.

Configure the Course to Promote Motivation

The teacher can structure the course in such a way that it can relate to the interests of the students. This can be done by creating assignments or example which the students can relate to. For example, a chemistry teacher may enlighten the students on the contribution of chemistry towards solving nature’s problems, like environmental concerns (Davis, 2011). The teacher should also take time to explain to the students how the course will help them attain their goals in various dimensions either personally, professionally, or educationally. During certain occasions, the teacher can change the routine by allowing the students to choose which work they will do. For example, present them with options during term papers or let them choose between two locations for a class field trip. Other methods which can be used to break routine include: discussions; role playing; group work; demonstrations; audiovisual presentations; case studies; and many others (Davis, 2011).

De-emphasizing Grades

A teacher should encourage the students to focus on mastering the content of the subject rather than earning top grades (Kirk, 2011). This will assist the students to gain interest in the subject matter and therefore turn their energies towards learning. It is recommended that teachers should not use grades to control bad behavior like decreasing grades due to disciplinary issues. The teacher can also encourage learning by designing tests which make use of the particular type of learning which enable students to evaluate and synthesize facts.

Motivation through Feedback

It is important to give students prompt feedback about their work. Praise and rewards should be given publicly. Studies have demonstrated that praise works by building the confidence and esteem of a student (Kirk, 2011). Negative feedback should be dispensed carefully, with focus being directed at the task and not the student as an individual. The students should be encouraged to earn from commendable work done by their classmates so that the thoughts, and knowledge expressed.

Motivation levels in students can be raised by an educator who pays attention to his students and is interested in their self improvement. The teacher can employ several strategies to raise the motivation of individual students. These strategies generally focus on changing the perception of the student into finding value in the course. They also shape the attitude of the teacher from a more rigid approach into one that centers the educational, emotional, academic, and professional needs of the student. This entails understanding the needs of the students so that course materials and instructions can be structured to fulfill those needs as opposed to simply passing examinations. As a result, the student will experience satisfaction from the classroom and therefore will be motivated to engage in the learning process.

Davis B. (2011). Motivating students. Available at Kirk K. (2011). Motivating students. Available at


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essay on motivation for students

Motivational Speech Topics: Inspiring Ideas to Empower and Energize

essay on motivation for students

Did you know that the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali once said, 'Don't count the days; make the days count'? This powerful statement exemplifies the essence of motivational speeches – the ability to ignite a fire within, propel us toward success, and inspire us to embrace our full potential. Whether you're standing before a crowd or seeking personal motivation, the right choice of motivational speech topics can be the driving force that transforms ordinary moments into extraordinary ones.

Motivational Speech Topics: Short Summary

In this article, we'll explore a wide range of inspirational speech topics that will not only grab your audience's attention but also empower you to deliver a speech that resonates deeply. Whether you want to learn how to make a powerful speech, even as a dissertation topic , or find answers to common questions about giving it effectively, we're here to give you the tools and knowledge you need to create a memorable experience.

What is Motivational Speech: Understanding the Concept 

Before we dive into the topic ideas, let's first understand what a motivational speech is. It is a form of communication that aims to inspire and motivate individuals to take action, overcome challenges, and achieve personal and professional growth. Just like a reflective essay , motivational topics often draw upon personal experiences, anecdotes, and powerful storytelling to connect with the audience emotionally.

Motivational Speech Topics

A motivational speech can be a powerful tool to uplift and empower people. It serves as a catalyst for change, encouraging individuals to step out of their comfort zones and pursue their dreams. When delivered effectively, a motivational speech has the potential to ignite a fire within individuals, pushing them to overcome obstacles and achieve greatness.

One of the key elements of motivational speech topics is its ability to resonate with the audience. By sharing personal experiences and relatable stories, speakers can establish a connection with their listeners, making the message more impactful and inspiring. Whether it's overcoming adversity, achieving success against all odds, or finding inner strength, a motivational speech can touch the hearts and minds of individuals, leaving a lasting impression.

Moreover, it is not limited to any specific context or setting. Interesting motivational speech topics can be delivered in various settings, such as educational institutions, corporate events, conferences, or even informal gatherings. The purpose of a motivational speech remains constant - to inspire and motivate individuals to take action and make positive changes in their lives.

Motivational Speech Example

To truly understand the impact of a well-crafted speech, it is essential to witness a clear example of what a good speech looks like. So, let us delve into this extraordinary example, as it paints a vivid picture of the transformative power of words, igniting within us the belief that we, too, can create a lasting impact through the power of our own voices.

essay on motivation for students

Motivational Speech Structure: Crafting an Inspiring Framework

Imagine standing before a crowd, ready to inspire and uplift them with your words. But where do you begin? That's where the structure of a motivational speech comes into play, acting as your trusty guide on this exhilarating journey. Let's explore the key elements of writing a motivational speech from our essay writer and provide you with some exciting examples to get your creative juices flowing.

First, we have the attention-grabbing opening. Think of it as the 'hook' that captivates your audience right from the start. You can begin with a captivating story, a thought-provoking quote, or even a surprising fact that piques your curiosity.

For instance, let's say you're giving a speech about resilience. You could start by sharing a personal story of overcoming a daunting challenge and instantly engaging your listeners by connecting with them on an emotional level.

Next, we move on to the main body of your speech, where you'll delve further into your chosen topic. This is your opportunity to share motivational speech ideas by offering valuable insights, relatable examples, and real-life experiences that reinforce your message. Don't forget to embrace the captivating nature of storytelling. You can share inspiring personal stories, draw inspiration from historical events, or showcase renowned individuals who epitomize the core essence of your theme.

Continuing with our resilience example, you might discuss the incredible journey of Thomas Edison, who famously said, 'I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.' By sharing his story and emphasizing how he persisted in the face of adversity, you'll showcase the power of resilience and inspire your audience to adopt a similar mindset.

Last but not least, we have the grand finale – the conclusion of your speech. This is your opportunity to leave a lasting impact on your listeners by reinforcing your main message and providing a call to action. Encourage your audience to reflect on what they've learned and challenge them to apply it in their own lives. A memorable quote or a powerful statement can leave them feeling motivated long after the applause fades away.

100 Motivational Speech Topics for Students

Motivation is the fuel that drives students toward success, but sometimes even the most driven individuals can hit a roadblock and find themselves in need of an extra boost. In the following sections, our custom essay writer has curated a list of 100 captivating and thought-provoking motivational speech topics specifically tailored to resonate with students of all backgrounds. These topics for motivational speeches aim to ignite their passion, boost their confidence, and empower them to embrace their unique path toward achieving greatness.

Motivational Speech Topics

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📚 Educational Topics

  • The Power of Growth Mindset: Cultivating a Positive and Motivated Learning Attitude
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  • Finding Passion in Learning: Reigniting Curiosity and Discovering Personal Motivation
  • The Art of Effective Time Management: Maximizing Productivity and Balancing Academic Demands
  • Overcoming Exam Anxiety: Strategies for Confidence and Peak Performance
  • Embracing Failure as a Stepping Stone: Learning from Setbacks and Building Resilience
  • Unleashing Creativity in Education: Fostering Innovation and Motivation in the Classroom
  • Self-Reflection and Personal Growth: Harnessing Motivation for Continuous Improvement

🌳 Environmental Topics

  • The Urgency of Environmental Conservation: Motivating Action for a Sustainable Future
  • Inspiring Eco-Consciousness: Igniting Passion for Environmental Responsibility
  • Overcoming Apathy: Motivating Individuals to Take a Stand for the Environment
  • Empowering Youth Activism: Harnessing the Power of Young Voices in Environmental Advocacy
  • Sustainable Living: Motivating Lifestyle Changes for a Greener Planet
  • Protecting Biodiversity: Motivating Efforts to Preserve Earth's Rich Natural Heritage
  • Climate Change Action: Motivating Collective Responsibility for Mitigation and Adaptation
  • Environmental Education: Inspiring the Next Generation of Stewards for a Healthy Planet
  • Conservation Heroes: Stories of Inspiring Individuals Making a Difference in the Environment
  • Green Innovation: Encouraging Entrepreneurship and Creativity for Environmental Solutions

📈 Business Motivational Speech Topics

  • Entrepreneurial Mindset: Igniting the Drive to Start and Achieve Success in Business
  • Leadership Excellence: Develop Practical Leadership Skills in Business
  • Embracing Change: Motivating Adaptability and Innovation in the Business World
  • Goal Setting for Business Success: Turning Vision into Actionable Steps
  • Overcoming Obstacles: Building Resilience and Persistence in Business Ventures
  • The Power of Teamwork: Motivating Collaboration and Achieving Collective Success
  • Customer Centricity: Inspiring a Culture of Service and Building Lasting Relationships
  • Financial Empowerment: Motivating Financial Literacy and Wealth Creation
  • Strategic Thinking: Inspiring Vision and Planning for Business Growth
  • Building a Purpose-Driven Business: Motivating Social Impact and Sustainability

💻 Motivational Speech Topics for College Students

  • Embracing Your Potential: Unleashing the Power Within You
  • The Journey of Self-Discovery: Finding Your Passion and Purpose
  • Overcoming Fear of Failure: Embracing Risks and Learning from Setbacks
  • Navigating Career Choices: Pursuing Your Dreams and Making an Impact
  • Building Resilience: Thriving in the Face of Challenges and Adversity
  • Balancing Priorities: Time Management and Goal Setting for College Success
  • Harnessing the Power of Networking: Creating Meaningful Connections for Future Opportunities
  • Embracing Diversity and Inclusion: Celebrating Differences and Fostering Empathy
  • Mental Health Matters: Cultivating Well-being and Self-Care in College Life
  • The Power of Positive Thinking: Developing a Growth Mindset for Personal and Academic Success

📖 Motivational Speech Topics for High School Students

  • Discovering Your Potential: Unlocking the Power Within You
  • Embracing Failure: Learning and Growing from Setbacks
  • The Power of Perseverance: Overcoming Challenges and Reaching Success
  • Setting Goals for Success: Turning Dreams into Achievable Milestones
  • Building Resilience: Bouncing Back Stronger in the Face of Adversity
  • Unlocking Creativity: Embracing Innovation and Thinking Outside the Box
  • Cultivating Positive Relationships: Nurturing Supportive Connections for Personal Growth
  • The Importance of Self-Care: Prioritizing Well-being and Mental Health
  • Making a Difference: Inspiring Youth Activism and Social Impact

🧘🏼‍♀️ Self-improvement Topics

  • The Art of Mindfulness: Cultivating Present Moment Awareness for Inner Peace and Clarity
  • Building Emotional Intelligence: Enhancing Self-Awareness and Empathy for Better Relationships
  • Overcoming Procrastination: Unlocking Your Productivity Potential and Achieving Goals
  • Developing Effective Study Habits: Maximizing Learning and Academic Success
  • Cultivating a Positive Mindset: Harnessing Optimism and Self-Belief for Personal Growth
  • Financial Wellness: Building Healthy Money Habits for a Secure Future
  • Developing Effective Problem-Solving Skills: Embracing Critical Thinking and Decision Making
  • The Power of Gratitude: Fostering Appreciation and Happiness in Everyday Life
  • Unlocking Creativity: Tapping into Your Inner Artist and Innovator
  • Developing Leadership Skills: Inspiring Others and Making a Positive Impact in Your Community

🔬 Science and Technology Topics

  • Exploring the Wonders of Space: Motivating the Pursuit of Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Unleashing the Power of Artificial Intelligence: Inspiring Innovations in Machine Learning
  • The Future of Renewable Energy: Motivating Sustainable Solutions for a Greener World
  • Biotechnology Breakthroughs: Inspiring the Next Generation of Scientific Innovators
  • Cybersecurity: Motivating the Protection of Digital Systems and Privacy
  • The Marvels of Nanotechnology: Inspiring Advancements in Materials Science
  • Robotics Revolution: Motivating the Integration of Robotics in Various Industries
  • Medical Breakthroughs: Inspiring the Pursuit of Life-Saving Discoveries and Cures
  • Climate Science: Motivating Action to Address and Mitigate Climate Change
  • Exploring the Frontiers of Quantum Mechanics: Inspiring Advancements in Quantum Computing and Quantum Technologies

🩺 Medicine Topics

  • The Human Body: Unveiling the Complexities and Marvels of Human Anatomy
  • Healthcare Heroes: Inspiring the Pursuit of Medical Professions and Healing
  • Medical Research: Motivating Scientific Discoveries and Breakthroughs in Medicine
  • Mental Health Awareness: Inspiring Compassion and Support for Mental Well-being
  • Advances in Precision Medicine: Motivating Personalized Approaches to Healthcare
  • Innovations in Medical Technology: Inspiring Cutting-Edge Solutions for Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Global Health Equity: Motivating Efforts to Improve Access to Quality Healthcare Worldwide
  • Disease Prevention: Inspiring Healthy Lifestyles and Promoting Wellness
  • Exploring the Field of Medical Ethics: Motivating Ethical Decision-Making in Healthcare
  • The Power of Medical Education: Inspiring the Next Generation of Compassionate and Skilled Medical Professionals

🏛 Government and Politics Topics

  • Youth Empowerment in Politics: Motivating Active Participation and Civic Engagement
  • Advocating for Social Justice: Inspiring Equality and Equity in Government Policies
  • Environmental Policy: Motivating Sustainable Solutions for a Greener Future
  • Human Rights and Activism: Inspiring Change and Promoting Equality
  • Political Leadership: Motivating Ethical and Effective Governance
  • Electoral Engagement: Inspiring the Importance of Voting and Participating in Democratic Processes
  • Public Service: Motivating a Career of Dedication and Impact in Government
  • Fighting Corruption: Inspiring Transparency and Accountability in Politics
  • Immigration and Refugee Policies: Motivating Compassion and Inclusive Approaches
  • Diplomacy and Global Cooperation: Inspiring Peaceful Resolutions and International Collaboration

📌 Other Popular Motivational Speech Topics

  • Overcoming Adversity: Rising Above Challenges and Embracing Resilience
  • Finding Happiness Within: Inspiring Self-Love and Personal Fulfillment
  • Pursuing Dreams: Motivating Passion and Perseverance in Achieving Goals
  • Embracing Change: Motivating Growth and Transformation
  • The Power of Positivity: Inspiring Optimism and a Positive Mindset
  • Inspiring Others: Motivating Leadership and Influence
  • Embracing Diversity: Motivating Inclusion and Celebrating Differences
  • Unleashing Creativity: Inspiring Innovation and Out-of-the-Box Thinking
  • Nurturing Relationships: Motivating Love, Compassion, and Connection
  • Leaving a Legacy: Inspiring a Life of Purpose and Meaning

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Tips for Writing Your Motivational Statement and Essays

While it’s one of our favorite parts of the application reading experience, we know that writing essay components can be anxiety-inducing for applicants. As you start or continue your application , we hope you find this guidance on the motivational statement and essays helpful.

Motivational Statement

All students applying to the Master of Public Policy (MPP) , MA in Public Policy (MA) , MS in Computational Analysis and Public Policy (MSCAPP) , and MA in Public Policy with Certificate in Research Methods (MACRM) programs are required to submit a 300-word motivational statement answering the questions: Why policy? Why Harris? (Or a version of these questions more specific to your program).

Some suggestions as you are thinking about your answers to these questions:

Answer the prompt. Don’t worry about using precious space to introduce yourself—jump right into answering the question. 

Write first, edit later. Get your ideas onto the page—whether that means bullet points, idea webs, or a journal entry. Don’t worry about crafting the perfect opener, meeting the word count, or checking grammar when you are first getting started.  

Reflect. Think about the professional, personal, or academic experience that has inspired you. 

Be specific. When answering Why Harris? , be specific to the University of Chicago and Harris. Analyze why certain programs, centers, classes, or professors made you want to apply here. 

Optional Essay Questions

Although the Motivation Statement is required, the essay questions are optional. For all optional essay questions, we aren’t just interested in the “right answer,” but how you are thinking about and approaching these complex questions.

Students applying to the Master of Public Policy (MPP) program may pick any of the three questions below. Completing question three will allow you to be considered for Pearson fellowships open only to MPP students.

Students applying to the MA in Public Policy (MA) , MS in Computational Analysis and Public Policy (MSCAPP) , and MA in Public Policy with Certificate in Research Methods (MACRM) programs may choose to complete optional essays 1 and

Option 1: Challenge—Describe briefly the biggest challenge you have ever faced. How did you tackle it and what did you learn? (max 300 words)

Tip: In essay one, you may write about a personal, professional, or academic challenge when answering this question. Perhaps more than the challenge itself, we are interested in how you tackled the challenge, and what you learned in the process.

Option 2: Community—Where do you see yourself getting involved in the community during your time at Harris—either at the University of Chicago or in the city of Chicago? (max 300 words)

Tip: If you are answering essay two, please make sure to speak specifically to Harris or UChicago.

Option 3: Pearson—If you would like to be considered for  The Pearson Fellowship , please answer the following: In reflecting on the complexities of past and present protracted global conflicts, please analyze what singular global conflict most puzzles you personally, and discuss why.

Tip: Please note that “global conflict” can refer to a range of conflicts (i.e. inter/intra state; those involving non-state actors, etc.) and a range of issues associated (i.e. refugee crises, religious conflict, gang violence, drug wars, domestic violence, etc.). Remember to consider: Is the conflict actually puzzling? For example, does it involve actors acting against their own best interest, or operating irrationally?​ And finally, for the purposes of this essay, you will not need to cite sources.

We hope you find these tips helpful as you move your application forward.

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Empowerment of Students for Their Motivation Response Essay

Introduction, personal response.

Empowerment motivates students because they become active participants in a learning process provided that a teacher guides and controls the process. As it is said, “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might” (Eccl. 9:10 English Standard Version). Hence, holding the power over their education encourages students to use it for mastering knowledge.

Simmons and Page (2010) state that “individual freedom would motivate students to achieve scholastic excellence and embrace personal empowerment” (p. 65). An experiment they conducted in their classroom was meant to show whether it is possible to change “the power structure in classrooms” and, therefore, to encourage “creativity and motivate students to have power over their learning” (Simmons & Page, 2010, p. 65).

Thus, by sharing power with student teachers can stimulate the learning process. Furthermore, teachers constructed the heterogenic groups since “the best motivator for students is cooperation and friendly competition with their peers” (Simmons & Page, 2010, p. 67). So, the group of students had to come up with the ideas for the project by sharing their thoughts and encouraging one other.

The teachers ensured that groups consisted of students of “low, middle, and high achievers” (Simmons & Page, 2010, p. 66). Therefore, teachers helped the students to help one another and share knowledge. The primary motivators in the project were “collaboration”, “creative freedom”, and “equality” (Simmons & Page, 2010, pp. 67-68). The class collaboratively designed their grading system.

Moreover, the students were given “the freedom to choose how they would represent a theme” (Simmons & Page, 2010, p. 68). As a result, students created interesting and “insightful” works (Simmons & Page, 2010, p. 68). Being able to grade and to decide about the grading system, students understood that “their voices counted”, and it “motivated students to express their ideas and act in a responsible manner” (Simmons & Page, 2010, p. 68).

Nonetheless, many students needed guidance from the teacher to understand that the standards and ideas should come from their peers, not the teacher. Finally, the teachers conducted the survey after the project to get feedback from their students and use it for “future motivation” (Simmons & Page, 2010, p. 68).

Some students experienced “too much pressure… to be judged by their peers” (Simmons & Page, 2010, p. 69). In general, though, students commented on the project positively and presented some good points for the future from their perspective.

In my opinion, empowerment of students motivates their creativity and improves interaction between peers. However, according to Brophy (2004), “learning should be experienced as meaningful and worthwhile, but it requires sustained goal-oriented efforts to construct understandings” (p. xii). Hence, a teacher’s control and guidance should be clearly presented to the students and practiced during their learning process.

Furthermore, I think the idea of creating the grading system should motivate students to be responsible for fulfilling the project at their best and grading their peers fairly. Moreover, the teacher’s participation in the grading also ensures the equality and impartiality as “the average of the teacher’s grade with the class’s grade produced each group’s final grade” (Simmons & Page, 2010, p. 67). Consequently, the main challenge is to create the stimulating, flexible but controlling environment for the learning process.

Sharing power with students motivates and encourages them since they learn to be creative, collaborative, and responsible for practicing the power. Teachers should not only guide the students but also control them during the process providing stimulating and flexible learning environment at the same time.

Brophy, J. (2004). Motivating students to learn (2nd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Simmons, A. M., & Page, M. (2010). Motivating students through power and choice. English Journal, 100 (1), 65-69.

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Home — Essay Samples — Education — Academic Challenges — Effects of motivation on students


Effects of Motivation on Students

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Words: 1480 |

Published: Mar 28, 2019

Words: 1480 | Pages: 3 | 8 min read

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Literature review, conclusions.

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