Put A Little Pep in Your Step: Motivating the Next Generation of Leaders

The goal of the education system in the US is to ensure that the children are provided with an adequate learning environment and that they learn vital skills as a way to contribute to the future of our nation. However, the way that it has been formatted has caused many students to lack the determination to fulfill that goal. As of last fall, 14.9 million students attend high school in America. According to a recent report from the National Research Council, 40% of those students are “chronically disengaged” in school, and that percentage is only increasing (Crotty 1). It is imperative that instructors implement various strategies to address the diverse learning styles of students in order to ease student frustration, encourage processing, and develop the child’s intrinsic motivation,promoting his/her independence.

One of the main causes for lack of motivation in school is the student’s relationship with the content being taught. The first type is that he/she simply does not understand the subject at hand or has trouble grasping it. This may lead to frustration and bad grades, which only makes the student feel as if there is no point in trying if he/she cannot understand the content. The second type is when the child believes that he/she is incapable of accomplishing the work. These students tend to have low-self esteem and because of this, they often opt out of putting effort in their work. Obviously, “If students do not believe that their efforts are likely to improve their performance, they will not be motivated to work hard” (“Students lack interest or motivation” 2). The third type is when the student fails to see the purpose of the class or task and find no point in participating for it. He/she falls into the perception that it will not benefit them in the future and choose not to participate and work in the class. Having a negative connotation attached with subject being instructed about will definitely cause the high schooler to no longer carry an interest in it.

In school, there can be many elements that can affect how a student learns and how well.. When it comes to comprehending the information put in front of them, they tend to have a distinct way of making sense of it all. There are seven different basic learning styles and students have a tendency to work better with one or two of them. A student who is a spatial learner prefers using pictures, colors, and graphs to learn and retain information better (Lepi). A student who is an aural learner finds it easier to complete tasks put before him/her with the use of audio and music. A student who is a linguistic learner typically works better in methods involving speech, reading and writing (“Understanding Different Learning Styles”). A student who is a kinesthetic learner processes information better with hands-on techniques (Learning Styles- Some Resources and Literature 1). A student who is a logical learner generally thinks of reasoning, order and logic in his/her thought process (Lepi).A student who is an interpersonal learner works well with other people and in the aid of fellow classmates (Markovic M. and Markovic D. 3).A student who is an intrapersonal learner feels more comfortable working as an individual (Radovic-Markovic 2). However, these seven different learning styles go hand-in-hand. It is essential to the adolescents’ education that they are provided with learning through every style to ensure the best education.

Instructors need to apply various strategies to address the numerous learning styles of students in order to decrease their frustration, encourage processing, and supplement the child’s chronic engagement, leading the students to a successful life. There are many factors that can lead to students becoming unmotivated. These factors can include distractions, priorities, family, and the lack of self-esteem. Also, the way the school system in America has been created does not accommodate to the needs of every student. They all have different ways of grasping and understanding the information given to them. These problems can be solved by helping out each individual into learning the matter at hand by helping them realize its significance, and helping each student individually to the way that they learn and process information. The students of today will be the leaders of tomorrow. They need to be determined and motivated for not only themselves but also to ensure a successful future for our nation.

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