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To Start the School Year: Maximize Student Motivation

Posted by Bert Maes on September 3, 2012

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In many countries it is the first day of school today. The ideal moment to talk about motivation, don’t you think?

In a post last year, I talked about how high-tech machines greatly improve student motivation. But of course that is not the whole story.

School teacher Bill Ferriter explains that technology alone isn’t motivating.

What students are really motivated by are opportunities to be social. It’s the opportunity to give students activities built around the big ideas that matter to them, and the opportunity to interact and share with their peers.

They are motivated by issues connected to fairness and justice. They are motivated by finding solutions to the often-troubling changes they see happening in the world around them.

Motivating students should start with conversations about our kids. What are they deeply moved by? What are they most interested in? What would surprise them? Challenge them? Leave them wondering?

You can find some inspiration in my posts called “The Truth about…Youth” and “A Guide to Convince Youth to Pursue Manufacturing Jobs [PART 3]

The goal of all conversations at school should be maximizing student motivation, self-confidence, personal responsibility, work ethic and communication skills.

Business executives concerned about their future workforce are deeply worried about exactly these job readiness skills.

For that purpose we should improve curriculum, bring the schools up to date technologically, hire and retain the best teachers and ensure that they are using the most effective teaching practices.

But foremost the right skills start with the right mental framework. If students learn how to be committed, determined and how to set brilliant goals, they are ready for great achievements.

An “I will do this” culture of commitment, determination, action and specific goals is the foundation of the job readiness skills business leaders find lacking in students. Help students to be willing to work and ready to learn.

Create a culture of success. They will realize far more of their potential. I take that up in the next post.


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    To Start the School Year: Maximize Student Motivation « BERT MAES

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