STRATE­GIES FOR IN­CREAS­ING STU­DENT MO­TI­VA­TION IN SCI­ENCE

Sun.Star Pampanga - - PERSPECTIVE! -

GAY D. CUNANAN

Teach­ers of Sci­ence must un­der­stand the ba­sic mo­tives al­ready present in their learn­ers. The teacher can then play on th­ese mo­ti­va­tions to max­i­mize en­gage­ment and en­hance the ef­fec­tive­ness of the teach­ing process. Ex­ploit­ing stu­dent mo­ti­va­tions and affini­ties can lead to the de­vel­op­ment of ar­ti­fi­cial Sci­ence prob­lems and sit­u­a­tions. But if such meth­ods gen­er­ate gen­uine in­ter­est in a topic, the tech­niques are em­i­nently fair and de­sir­able. Teach­ers may adopt the fol­low­ing to in­crease stu­dent’s par­tic­i­pa­tion.

Pr es­ent a chal­lenge: When stu­dents are chal­lenged in­tel­lec­tu­ally, they re­act with en­thu­si­asm. Great care must be taken in select­ing the chal­lenge. The prob­lem (if that is the type of chal­lenge) must def­i­nitely lead into the les­son and be within reach of the stu­dents’abil­i­ties. Care should be taken so that the chal­lenge does not de­tract from the les­son but in fact leads to it.

Show a se­quen­tial achieve­ment: Closely re­lated to the pre­ced­ing tech­nique is hav­ing stu­dents ap­pre­ci­ate a log­i­cal se­quence of con­cepts. This dif­fers from the pre­vi­ous method in that it de­pends on stu­dents’de­sire to in­crease, not com­plete, their knowl­edge.

En­tice the class with a “gee whiz” re­sult: There are many ex­am­ples in the sci­ence es­pe­cially Physics and Chem­istry that are of­ten coun­ter­in­tu­itive. Th­ese ideas in their na­ture can be mo­ti­vat­ing. For ex­am­ple, to mo­ti­vate ba­sic be­lief in ac­cel­er­a­tion, a very ef­fec­tive mo­ti­va­tion is a class dis­cus­sion of the fa­mous car speed, which gives the un­ex­pect­edly high prob­a­bil­ity of par tic­i­pa­tion. It’s amaz­ing— even un­be­liev­able— re­sult will leave the class in awe.

Use recre­ational Sci­ence: Recre­ational mo­ti­va­tion in­volves puz­zles, games, para­doxes, or the school build­ing or other nearby struc­tures. In ad­di­tion to be­ing selected for their spe­cific mo­ti­va­tional gain, th­ese de­vices must be brief and sim­ple. An ef­fec­tive ex­e­cu­tion of this tech­nique will al­low stu­dents to com­plete the re­cre­ation with­out much ef­fort. Once again, the fun that th­ese recre­ational ex­am­ples gen­er­ate should be care­fully han­dled, so as not to de­tract from the en­su­ing les­son.

Tell a per­ti­nent story: A story of a his­tor ical event or a con­trived sit­u­a­tion can mo­ti­vate stu­dents. Teach­ers should not rush while telling the story— a hur ried pre­sen­ta­tion min­i­mizes the po­ten­tial mo­ti­va­tion of the strat­egy.

Lastly, get stu­dents ac­tively in­volved in jus­ti­fy­ing sci­en­tific in­ves­ti­ga­tory: One of the more ef­fec­tive tech­niques for mo­ti­vat­ing stu­dents is to ask them to jus­tify one of many per­ti­nent sci­en­tific in­ves­ti­ga­tory. The stu­dents should be fa­mil­iar and com­fort­able with the sci­en­tific in­ves­ti­ga­tory be­fore you chal­lenge them to de­fend it.

— oOo—

The au­thor is SST-III at Cristo Rey High School, Di­vi­sion of Tar lac Pr ovince

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