Intrinsic Standard Motivation
The basis of this literature review pertains to creating assignments that motivate students to learn while fulfilling the state standards. Literature and articles reviewed pertained to the issue of motivation, the importance of standards, and the use of technology to enhance individual education in terms of research, and expressive creation. The information in general stated; In order to motivate students to learn and accomplish set goals individual interests must be accounted for. The standards and their goals are to be used as the purpose and objective for assignments, with the underlying aspects and goals creating individual student intrinsic value and personal learning which fulfills and utilizes the state standards. To increase motivation in student learning a purpose must be presented as it pertains to the standards and a student's opportunity to use what they are learning. An expressive project that entails research, writing, listening, reading, technology, and reading can be used and adapted by individual students and fulfill the standards thus providing purpose, motivation, and an intrinsic value to each student's personal education. The use of rubrics that clearly set forth the expectations of a project/paper, along with the opportunity to choose an assignment with given point values, should serve as a motivating factor to improve individual learning and supply a purposeful and intrinsic value to each individual student while at the same time fulfilling many of the state standards. The topics explored for the literature review pertained to motivating factors, use of instruction and rubrics, purposes of standards, and educators' opinions on best strategies to teach and motivate students to be life long learners.
There is a need to organize improved techniques and strategies used to teach such concepts related to the state standards in a motivational way. "Motivation refers to the degree to which students desire to succeed in school, while affect refers to the students' emotional mood and personal feelings. Intrinsic motivation refers to participation in an activity purely out of curiosity, desire to succeed, or desire to contribute. Extrinsic motivation, however, refers to participation in an activity in anticipation of an external reward." (Dev, 1997) In order to improve student participation and work, intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors must be accounted for in each lesson and every project. The first step is to create a positive and energized classroom atmosphere that will, "improve self-esteem and self-efficacy, increase the personal investment in learning, make the learning fun and enjoyable, and use praise and rewards" (Mastropieri, M. &Scruggs, T., 2004, Ch.9 p.252).
The aspects of the emotional and mental feelings associated with learning pertain to aspects of motivation. Verbal communication is essential to motivating. Explorations of the psychology and philosophical aspects of motivating should be explored, researched, reflected upon, and used for effective teaching and student achievement. Dr. Wayne W. Dyer (2004) is a motivational speaker who's ideas are based on the psychological aspects of behavior and feelings. He speaks in terms of ways to change. The orator has a way of relating obstacles and frustrations to a certain perspective. Reshaping the perspective involves opening one's mind to alternative thoughts, acceptance, and accountability. The change in perspective causes an increased motivation to change for a personal goal of success, and the accomplishment of the goal. In his book The Power of Intention Dr. Dyer states; "Be aware of low energy. Recall that everything, which includes your thoughts, has an energy frequency that can be calibrated to determine whether it will strengthen or weaken you. When you find yourself either thinking in low-energy ways, or immersed in low, weakening energy, resolve to bring a higher vibration to the presence of that debilitating situation" (Dr. Dyer, W. Wayne, 2004, ch.4 p.87).
Strategies and ideas of how to accomplish the goal of increasing motivation are as follows; "Achievement and skill measures as well as observations indicated a lack of student participation and interest. Three areas of intervention were implemented: cross-curricular activities to heighten student interest, cooperative learning strategies to promote participation and interaction, and teacher-designed activities that focused on goal-setting and personal reflection. Follow-up data indicated that active student participation increased, parent and student attitudes toward school and learning became more positive, and students experienced academic success by meeting personal goals and increasing their core of known words for reading and writing" (Moriarity,-Janice; Pavelonis,-Kim; Pellouchoud,-Deborah; Wilson,-Jeanne article, 2001, http://www.engines4ed.org/hyperbook/nodes/NODE-62-pg.html ).
"Observations and measures of student attitudes and achievement indicated a lack of student interest in learning activities. Two categories of intervention were implemented: (1) instruction in the use of learning strategies, including graphic organizers and questioning techniques, to improve higher order thinking skills and to increase students' ability to organize and comprehend information; and (2) use of cooperative learning to increase student motivation and enhance social skills. Post-intervention data indicated an increase in student motivation. Students showed improvement in attitudes and academic performance, felt more confident in their learning of social studies, and sufficiently used the learning strategies implemented in the project" (Carroll,-Lynda; Leander,-Susan, 2001, http://www.edrs.com/members/sp.cfm?AN=ED455961).
"Motivation is the ultimate product of many aspects of the school experience: significant relationships between teachers and students and among students; a meaningful, well-taught curriculum; teachers who maintain high expectations and look for ways to help each student connect to the curriculum; and opportunities for choice and self-evaluation that foster students' ownership of learning" (Lumsden, 1999).
An important aspect is the clarification of the instructions of any given assignment. Clearer instructions decrease frustration that may get in the way of motivating strategies and factors. Cleary defined goals and purposes must be provided to any given assignment to help increase motivation. Along with clearly defined goals and instructions is the intrinsic value a student may receive from their educational experience. According to Robert Harris' (1999) article Some Ideas for Motivating Students, "Some recent research shows that many students do poorly on assignments or in participation because they do not understand what to do or why they should do it. Teachers should spend more time explaining why we teach what we do, and why the topic or approach to the activity is important and interesting and worth while. In the process, some of the teacher's enthusiasm will be transmitted to the students, who will be more likely to become interested. Similarly, teachers should spend more time explaining exactly what is expected on an assignment. One of the major keys of motivation is the active involvement of students in their own learning. Standing in front of them and lecturing is thus a relatively poor method of teaching. It is better to get students involved in activities, group problem solving exercises, helping to decide what to do and the best way to do it, helping the teacher, working with each other, or in some way getting involved in the lesson" (Harris, 1991, article on www.virtualsalt.com).
A way to accomplish goals of the learning activity in a motivated and purposeful way would be to explain how the standards can be used and incorporated to the students. This will give the students a more relevant and clearly defined map of the goals of what they should and are learning by completing certain and specific projects or assignments. By allowing the student to use the standards as a guide to learning and a map to define purpose, students are allowed to clearly see what they have accomplished. The accomplishment aspect will create a reward type feeling and increase motivation. This feeling could add to the relevance, purpose, and motivational factors of learning in individual students.
In terms of English education for high school students and preparation for higher education using standards to create relevant and purposeful writing, chapter eight of The Fantasy of the Seamless Transition by Janet Alsup and Michael Bernard-Donalds (2002) from Teaching Writing in High School and college: Conversations and Collaborations states on page 125; "I think we both agree that a writing process needs to be more than isolated tasks that students complete; it needs to require critical thinking and be intellectually rigorous and socially aware. But can this kind of intellectually and discursive work take place only when writing the academic essay?" (Alsup, 2002, p.125) The standards require a process of writing to be understood and implemented by the students solely based on academics. These include an expository, descriptive, narrative, and persuasive essay format. The written expression that writing voices is lacking when a student writes for a sole purpose of fulfilling the academic standards. The expressive writing is a motivator in goal accomplishment and intrinsic learning. State standards should include such matters to help increase student success and scores. Writing needs to be taught in a deeper and more purposeful manner to help shape the future perspectives of society. On page 127 Michael Bernard-Douglas questions this concept. "But if we see the task of writing instruction in high school as helping students understand the responsibility that writing involves, then any writing task in whatever genre should be tied to a broader ethical problem: how does writing as a creative act have consequences for how I and others live our lives, and what are those consequences insofar as I can determine them?" (Bernard-Donalds p.127)
A According to the article Blowing Away the State Writing Assessment (2002) by Jane Bell Keister in the Delaware Writing Project found on the NW Regional Educational Laboratory website www.nwrel.org/assessment/prompts, adapting the standards to fulfill a deeper level and purpose of writing would require change in teaching methods. New methods of school based improvement factors would need to be implemented within any given assignment. The lack of personal student experience within reading, speaking, and writing comprehension is lacking. The fact that perspectives, experiences, and purposes of each individual student are different, are not accounted for within the state standards for English. Adapting the state standard goals to a formatted way of personal individual student expression can be accomplished by using the formats and goals as a guide to accomplish purposeful material in the criteria of English education. Using writing prompts and critical thinking questioning for reading comprehension can be used to help increase standard goal accomplishments on a personal level by each student.
Volume 94 number one of the September 2004 English Journal magazine has an article titled, "Reforming Writing and Rethinking Correctness" by Gregory Shafer. On page 66 and page 67 he mentions ways to reform writing instruction to better adapt relevancy and purpose to state standards of English education. New methods and strategies to effectively and purposefully teach writing were mentioned, and greatly pertained to the classroom atmosphere and its' affect on student learning, ways to motivate the students to learn in a purposeful way, and how to adapt individual student interests. The literature review supplied strategies and techniques to use the standards to provide purpose and meaning to individual students'. The idea of choice and opportunity based on interests appears to help students continue to learn and recognize their individual learning style. As a teacher, the strategies supplied varying ideas to help shape a teachers' perspective to better benefit each and every student.
References /Work Cited
I. Alsup, Janet & Bernard-Donalds, Michael (2002) Teaching Writing in High School and college: Conversations and Collaborations ch. 8 The Fantasy of the Seamless Transition pp. 125;127 Ed. by Thomas Thompson: Purdue University and University of Wisconsin
II. Carroll,-Lynda & Leander,-Susan. (2001) Improving Student Motivation through the Use of Active Learning Strategies: Master of Arts Action Research Project, Saint Xavier University and SkyLight Field-Based Masters Program accessed on 7/29/09 at http://www.edrs.com/members/sp.cfm?AN=ED455961
III. Dev, P.C. & Scruggs, T.E. (1997). Mainstreaming and inclusion of students with learning disabilities: Perspectives of General Educators in elementary and secondary schools. Geenwich, CT: JAI press
IV. Dr. Dyer, W. Wayne, 2004 The Power of Intention; learning to co-create your world your way Library of Congree ch.4 p.87
V. Harris, Robert (1991) Copyright March 2nd article Some Ideas for Motivating Students VirtualSalt Home Page accessed Feb, 9th 2010 at www.virtualsalt.com
VI. Keister, Jane Bell (2002) article Blowing Away the State Writing Assessment Delaware Writing Project found on the NW Regional Educational Laboratory website www.nwrel.org/assessment/prompts, accessed 12/10/2009
VII. Lumsden,-Linda. (1999) Student Motivation: Cultivating a Love of Learning. ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management, Eugene, OR. accessed on 7/29/09 at Web site: http://eric.uoregon.edu.
VIII. Mastropieri, M. and Scruggs, T. (2004) The Inclusive Classroom Pearson Education publishing, Saddle Brook, New Jersey Ch.9 p.252
IX. Moriarity,-Janice; Pavelonis,-Kim; Pellouchoud,-Deborah; Wilson,-Jeanne (2001) article Increasing Student Motivation through the Use of Instructional Strategies accessed on 7/29/09 at http://www.engines4ed.org/hyperbook/nodes/NODE-62-pg.html