How to motivate students towards study and learning is really a most important topic because it is the matter of bright future of students themselves as well as their nation. Academics and studies are only one part of our life. No doubt we need to study well to have a profession and make a successful career. But then all work and no play makes anyone dull. Life is a melange of so many different colours, shapes, activities, and life forms. Diversity is so intrinsic to life.
So why make study the only activity for students? There is so much to a student’s life. It is indeed when one is a student that growth and development at all levels – physical, mental and intellectual, emotional, and spiritual – can be promoted. A holistic approach is vital and good answer to the how to motivate students to learn. And this will enable individuals to lead well-balanced lives. It is of significance, therefore, to keep students motivated to help foster their holistic development.
Ways to Motivate Students – Motivational Strategies for Students
We have described below some ways to motivate students as well as motivational strategies for students in order to inspire them for study and better learning:
Just study all the way is too boring – so plan some motivational activities for students
As we all know that, study all the way is too boring, so we must plan and implement some motivational activities for students to make learning easy and interesting.
If you thought studying all the time would make one successful, think again. A senior physics teacher once asked his students, all sitting seriously and studiously, why they were in class when, in fact, a cultural event was on at school in the auditorium. The students answered that they wanted to study and complete the syllabus. They felt it was a waste of time to attend the cultural programme and that it was better instead to study so they would do well in the ensuing annual examinations. But the teacher instructed the class to attend the extra-curricular activity presently and get back to class to study thereafter. For, unless the students felt refreshed they would not be able to study. And the class dispersed. The students got the best advice.
Studies can become enjoyable when you approach it with a fresh and refreshed mind. So, studies whether at school or college or any other institution of learning or at home has to be smartly interspersed with other motivational strategies and activities to help students feel interested in their studies. Breaks are as essential as intense and serious study.
Make academics experimental and experiential
Co-curricular activities help students realize, appreciate and learn theories and concepts better. Dry classroom sessions at all times will leave students listless and jaded. Study and learning then become just activities in memorizing and reproducing without realizing the real world situations or significance. Students feel motivated when there is an experimental and experiential side to their study. Whatever the subject and whatever the course, it is possible to incorporate such interesting aspects and motivational activities to learning.
Outdoor visits in relation to what is learnt make the subject more understandable to students. Also, viewing in real has much greater power than mere reading from a book. Students feel motivated and inspired to study when there are the seemingly fun trips or fun activities that, in fact, teach a great deal.
Students must have many activities in their kitty
It is imperative to allow for students to incorporate in their life recreation, fun activities and hobby activities, along with academics and study. This keeps students motivated to pursue all activities with vigour and zest.
Share the importance of sports and games with students. In today’s world when the smart phone and virtual games are what students seem to be hooked on to, they need to be prodded to the playground instead. Sports and games have a de-stressing effect and are a great way to keep the body and mind fit. So, students should play some sport or game of their choice.
Students can be offered hobbies during their academic session. A little time devoted to a hobby can be rejuvenating. Philately, photography, trekking, music, dance, art and craft offer a lot of scope from which to choose a particular theme or genre as per individual choice and interest. Often such hobbies last a lifetime. Besides, hobbies may become a second profession.
Time management is imperative
Students must be shown the importance of time management. Then they will be able to manage their academics as also other activities, both co-curricular and extra-curricular, all of which are important for the holistic growth of students.
It is really an inappropriate and skewed apportioning of time that leaves students stressed. And when it is exam time they find it too difficult to cope with their studies. So, it is important to help students in arriving at the optimal schedule to plan their activities. And this is best done through the academic session or study cycle. At the very start of the session if students can plan out a time table for themselves in a judicious way they will have no reason to feel stressed later.
Encourage students to study in the cool, morning hours when the mind is fresh. Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise is an adage that may be repeated to students.
Consistent work through the year is the best option to avoid stress at the time of the annual examination. In fact that is why there are weekly tests and term-end exams so that students can master their syllabus in smaller portions. So, students must take their classes and study seriously through the year, and they need to be encouraged in this direction.
Words of encouragement are powerful
Appreciation always works wonders and one of the great ways to motivate students towards study. Appreciate students for what they have performed in academics. It will encourage them to work harder. Belittling a student for her or his performance at studies or an exam is the sure recipe to see the student fare worse in the next exam.
Encourage students to perform well in their exams in advance. Positive strokes can boost a student’s state of mind and morale. A negative approach will leave a student weak even in a topic that she or he has prepared well.
Follow some motivational strategies for students (students appreciate that) like be genuine in what you say, do not compare students, all the students can excel, etc. Maybe students excel in different subjects and different fields. So avoid tormenting students by comparing them with others and showing anyone in poor light. It affects the psyche deeply. And this only impairs students’ interest to work hard and perform well.
Life is more than an exam
Telling students that life is more than an exam is good technique to inspire students to learn. Life is more than securing a top rank or high marks in an exam. During the period of study, it is important to understand the subject matter well. One who has understood the subject matter well, in the long run, will find it easier not only in the particular subject and in clearing the exams but also to go in for higher studies in the subject.
Not securing top grades in examinations will not make any difference to a student’s life. Securing less than top marks is no reason for students to feel miserable, nor is it reason enough for teachers and parents to harass the students. Often students who have been below average in academics have made it big once they went in for a specialized career or profession of their choice. So while they may have not have been able to pursue academics, they may have made great singers, craftspersons, artists, dancers or sportspersons.
So, students should be appreciated and inspired for what they are good at and promoted in whatever way possible, and not harassed for what they fail to achieve. Instead, they could be encouraged to engage in motivational activities and activities of their own interest what they may not be very proficient at too.
And this works well both ways. For, there are students who may have a deficiency in their physical health and may not be robust at sports. They too need to be appreciated for what they are able to achieve.
Be practical, show students the bigger picture
Life is a huge jig saw puzzle for all of us, against the backdrop of the universe in its immensity and enormity. So students need to also see the larger picture. Is it just studies and exams that must be a student’s life when, in reality, after studies there is so much to life that one experiences? So, let’s make it more realistic. Life is all about multiplicity and diversity. So, let a student’s life be more practical and realistic by experiencing the reality of the multitudinous elements making up life. Let there be fun, adventure and entertainment along with learning, study and scholastic activity. In fact, a smart blending of these seemingly divergent areas will help in making learning, study and scholastic activity turn into fun, adventure and entertainment! Studies and real life situations can be easily blended.
In fact, education must be a learning of reality. Isn’t it? So, exposure to reality helps to motivate students.
“The lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime.”
So wrote Longfellow.
Students must be introduced to the lives of great personalities. They will thus feel enthused to work hard and set and achieve their goals.
Be creative, be imaginative
You need to be creative to motivate students. Often it is student-specific, class-specific, course-specific and age-specific. So there can be no hard and fast rules on motivating students. One needs to feel the pulse of the individual or group to decide how to motivate them. And here it is creativity that is called for. Sometimes one just needs to find a way at the spur of the moment. And it can work wonders. Students appreciate it. And respond positively.
Be loving, be understanding
This, of course, works at all times. Teachers and parents are looked up to, and a little love, kindness, and generosity can go a long way in motivating students. And, interestingly and significantly, students can discern very easily the sentiments of people who matter to them-parents, elders and teachers. In fact, the very presence of love and understanding in their parents and teachers can make students feel motivated and inspired to do well to make them happy.
So, show concern for students. And they will feel the urge to reciprocate that concern that would translate into their being serious about their studies and other extra-curricular activities, and becoming responsible and capable individuals.
——– Article written by N. KALYANI