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Motivating the Unmotivated

A guide for schools on the implementation of an inquiry based curriculum.
by

Kaitlyn Walker

on 14 October 2012

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Transcript of Motivating the Unmotivated

Motivating the Unmotivated A guide for schools on the implementation of an inquiry based curriculum What is an Inquiry Based Curriculum? Video Implementation Personal Anecdote Behaviors associated with lack of motivation As educators, keeping our students enthusiastic and interested in learning is one of our key goals and something we are constantly striving for. This however, is becoming increasingly difficult as distractions increase, (Burke, 2008), and students no longer accept traditional teaching methods. An inquiry based approach is a "student centred or active learning approach that takes, as its starting point, the natural process of inquiry, building on this to develop information processing and problem-solving skills" (Lyndhurst Primary School, 2012) To achieve a successful inquiry based learning experience, it is important that teachers and students work collaboratively.throughout the six phases.of the curriculum.
As Tracey & Morrow, 1998 suggest, ‘effective teaching and learning occurs in collaborative activities with teachers and peers’ (Hill, 2006, p. 394). Every child, given the right opportunities, has the ability to become an effective lifelong learner. In a classroom, which accepts, nurtures and provides an environment that stimulates curiosity, purposeful learning occurs. Every learner brings to the classroom their own unique experiences, their cultural context, their learning needs and challenges; and every student presents their teacher with the challenge of discovering their learning needs, their social connections or disconnections and, most importantly, their ability and motivation to learn. Via an inquiry based curriculum, students have the ability to take control of their own learning and engage themselves in the curriculum; addressing the issues associated with of lack of motivation. Six Phases of an Inquiry Based Curriculum How does an inquiry based curriculum improve motivation and address management within the classroom? Motivation It is our responsibility, as teachers, to model and explicitly teach the skills of an effective learner, encouraging students to identify and use the techniques that will allow them to make connections from the known to the unknown. We want them to take risks in their learning, knowing that they have, or can find the tools to help them achieve success. “If people don’t discover things for themselves, they don’t have true conviction. And the idea just disappears” (Scherer, 1998, pg. 13).

Teachers however, often find it easier to place blame on unmotivated and disruptive students rather than admit the lesson may have been unsuitable, boring, confusing, or didn't meet the needs and ability levels of all individuals (Burke, 2008). tuning in: identify what it is they want to know and do
finding out: locate the appropriate sources of information
sorting out: gather, sort and organise the information
going further: present the information in appropriate ways
reflection: reflect on what they have learned and the inquiry process
action: think about ways of applying their newly gained information to other situations (Wilson and Jan, 2007 as cited in Churchill et al., 2011) What are some behaviors that are caused by lack of motivation? What are ways we can prevent a lack of motivation in our classrooms? As a long term approach schools should implement an inquiry based curriculum as a way to engage and involve students, making them responsible for their own learning and providing an effective solution to issues with motivation. Studies show that giving students choices in learning enhances motivation.
"Investigations focusing on individual interest have shown that children as well as adults who are interested in particular activities or topics pay closer attention and enjoy thier involvement to a greater degree than individuals without such interest" (Hidi & Harackiewicz, 2000, p. 153).
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