Joye Thorne a veteran teacher said the teacher must understand the basic needs that drive a students’ motivation like the need to succeed, to belong, stimulation, attention, power, and love. In truth all of those factors can motivate a person to learn. However as an educator, we must look at the students emotional and survival needs to understand their motivation or lack of. People can be motivated by success, attention, belonging or even love; these are all emotional desires that manifest into drive. Some people are motivated by the need to survive. For example lack of food, safe or unstable living condition, or no parental involvement could be a motivator to survive. Once the students’ basic needs are understood, the motivation to learn can be catered to fit the learner. This requires observing, and investigating what the student needs are. The emotional and survival needs effect the motivation in children and adults learners. The adult learner may be motivated to learn to get a better job, and income for their family. The young learner may be motivated to learn because they were promised a reward if they mastered a competence. Ultimately motivation in people vary, and as an educator the practice of learning the emotional and survival needs of the student will better equip the educator to meet the need of the learner while teaching competences.
In trying to motivate people to learn the educator must invest time in knowing the overall desires of the learner. It is not enough to have a student in a classroom and not work to understand why they are there. To incorporate the motivational needs of students into the educator list of daily to- do’s seem mundane, but to not consider the students motivation to learn further perpetuates the attitude that educators are teaching for reasons other than student achievement and success. For motivation to be an educational factor, educators must be observant of the students driving forces. This requires a certain level of empathy that educators must try to understand about their students of all ages.
Thorne suggest the motivation students need to be successful should be through mastery rather than learning information or a skill in the moment. The learners’ motivation to master a competence also correlates with experiential learning and desire to learn for life. The educator should truly look at trying to connect with the students’ interest and or create interest that can kick-start or introduce motivational goals for success.
People have driving forces that motivate them, and I believe that my success as an educator will depend on my ability to tap into the students’ needs. I know it is not possible to know every motivating factor that drives each student, but to invest, connect, and build visible pathway to success is crucial for me to show my students.