A Teachers approach to unlocking her classes Intrinsic Motivations : Part Two

A Teachers approach to unlocking her classes Intrinsic Motivations

How do some teachers use intrinsic motivation in the classroom? when I interviewed 

veteran Primary school Deborah operating out of an impoverished area in County Durham, United Kingdom she suggested that using motivational techniques in the classroom was closely to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs ( a simple explainer is found here https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html).

Here are his original five for your reference: 

1. Biological and Physiological needs - air, food, drink, shelter, warmth,sleep. 

2. Safety needs - protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.

3. Love and inclusion needs - friendship, trust and acceptance, receiving and giving affection and love. Affiliating, being part of a group (family, friends, work).

4. Esteem needs - achievement, mastery, independence, status, self-respect, respect from others.

5. Self-Actualisation needs - realising personal potential, self-fulfilment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

Deborah explained “From my experience as a teacher-not as an educational-psychologist, so please don’t take my opinion as a scientific explanation but from my classroom experience and interactions with a wide range of children with particular I needs, I think  

A “Kids want to know that they're in a safe pair of hands i.e being taught by someone who doesn't let others go wild; equally, they like to know what is expected of them and where boundaries are. If consequences are given, they must be followed through, otherwise a) it's not fair on others, b) you may as well roll over and let them tickle your tummy!” 

B “They want to be liked by their peers, regardless of how much they say they don't care!”

I have a rule in my classroom whereby if a class gets to the end of a lesson without a single student getting a behaviour point (a first warning on the board), the class get put into a prize draw. These 'tickets' accrue through the half term, so the better a whole group are the more likely they'll be to have their name chosen. If I give a kid a warning point, they are usually devastated-not because they've let themselves down, but because they've let their classmates down

C) “Kids like to be paid attention. While school is an excellent way for them to understand they are not the centre of everyone's world (like they might be at home), they still need to be recognised. This can be through praise, rewards or a little bit of light-hearted humour in their direction”

These simple yet effective techniques have led to great results in the classroom and despite the school Deborah teaches at being viewed as being on the ‘back-foot’ they continue to strive to enrich the children’s lives through education. She furthers ‘that all of the children leave the school with something good on their CV’s, that they have achieved themselves’. 

Sounds like finding these key motivations is key.

*Written by Alison Wilson at Discourser.online with many thanks to Deborah Egglestone for her generous interview and knowledge.