One Way to Look at Student Motivation

I am sure at one point or another all of us have had to deal with students with an attitude like this?

motivation

How often do we wonder why some students don’t seem to care?

While reading Discipline in the Secondary Classroom by Randy Sprick, I came across an interesting theory on motivation. It’s called the Expectancy Value Theory and looks like this:


Expectancy x Value = Motivation

Expectancy – degree to which an individual expects to be successful.

Value – the degree to which an individual values the intrinsic or extrinsic rewards that accompany success.

If we apply basic math skills to this formula is that if either variable (Expectancy or Value) is a zero, regardless how high the other component is, motivation is also zero.

Implications for the classroom:

When students seem unmotivated teachers can try to determine whether the student has low expectancy, value, or both and make adjustments accordingly.

Teachers can find ways to adjust difficult tasks to help students experience more success.

Teachers can add value by spending more time discussing how the content can benefit students.

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