Motivation Strategies in Teaching

Motivation Strategies in Teaching




Motivation has been one of the most valued concepts in varied environments including business, home and school. This may primarily be a result of the recognition that motivation has a bearing on the productivity of individuals in all these environments. Motivation, however, is an abstract term whose definition varies especially considering that it cannot be scientifically measured (Wenzel & Wigfield, 2009). Nevertheless, the term is used to underline varied processes and effects that have a common core in the acknowledgement that any organism would chose a certain behavior because of the likely consequences, then executes the behavior with certain energy along a certain path (Klassen et al, 2010). It is well recognized that there exists a positive correlation between motivation and leaning, with research showing that students who are motivated would be likely to put more energy in their learning, participate actively in it and realize better outcomes, as well as feel good about the process (Klassen et al, 2010). It is not surprising, therefore, that volumes of literature and models have been crafted to guide the process of motivation. Two of these are the ARCS model by John Keller and the Motivational Framework for Culturally Responsive Teaching by Raymond J. Wlodkowski. These two models are similar and different in varied ways.

In examining the two models, Klassen et al, (2010) noted that both models are dependent on the subject finding meaning in what he or she is doing so as to be interested. In ARCS model, the student would have to find the learning activity relevant and applicable in his or her life. This is the same case for Wlodkowski’s model, where the learner would be motivated after developing a certain attitude through ensuring personal relevance, as well as choice. Samadi (2010) also noted that the two models have motivation tied to the end result. In Wlodkowski’s model, the fourth essential component revolves around engendering competence through the creation of the understanding that the learners will gain knowledge on something about which they want to learn. This is the same case for ARCS model, where Kelly states that learning has to give satisfaction or a certain reward in the form of praise, sense of achievement or mere entertainment (Samadi, 2010) This may be done through giving learners the feeling that the skills acquired are beneficial by offering opportunities for their application. However, the two models differ in that Wlodkowski’s model seems to use emotions in enhancing motivation among learners. An instructor would have to establish inclusion through the creation of connectivity and respect between him and the learners (Samadi, 2010). ARCS model, on the other hand, strives to create no such connection or appeal to the emotions of the learner, rather the goal of motivation is tied to the satisfaction that the learner would achieve in the end (Wenzel & Wigfield, 2009).

ARCS model was recently applied in the classroom to improve the performance of ladies in sciences and mathematics. The tutors posed problems to the students to enhance their attention. This was complemented by breaking into groups to enhance participation. The relevance of pursuing sciences was underlined by the fact that these are core subjects that have a bearing on the overall performance, while the confidence of students was enhanced through providing feedback and attributing any success to their effort in the same. Satisfaction was guaranteed through providing feedback, as well as reinforcing the behavior with gifts and rewards alongside the high marks.

While both motivational strategies are credible, I find the ARCS more practical in my workplace. This is especially considering that it does not depend on emotional attachment between one party and another rather it is solely tied to the satisfaction or reward that an individual would gain in the end (Wenzel & Wigfield, 2009).


Klassen, R.M., Ang, R.P., Chong, W.H., Krawchuk, L.L., Huan, V.S., Wong, I.Y.F., & Yeo, L.S. (2010). Academic procrastination in two settings: Motivation correlates, behavioral patterns, and negative impact of procrastination in Canada and Singapore. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 59(3), 361-379.

Samadi,M.(2010). Investigating the relationship between the dimensions of motivational orientations, learning strategies, and determining the contribution of these variables in explaining academic achievement .Journal of Research Institute of Education Studies.

Wenzel, K. R., & Wigfield, A. (2009). Handbook of motivation at school. New York, NY: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.

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