Article Review 3: Motivating Students for Content Mastery Motivating students to learn is one of the most difficult tasks teachers have in the classroom today. The pressures from administration, government mandates, and parents on teachers to ensure that the student achieves their highest level of learning has compounded in recent years. Mantell (2013) suggests that a challenge to educators today lies in understanding the components of motivation and determining how to empower students to strive for success. Understanding how your students learn and equipping them with the tools and desire to succeed are ways of insuring positive results.
Mantell (2013) writes “with ever-changing government mandates, new standards for accountability and the uniquely diverse classroom of this millennium, educators are scrambling to meet the needs of all students, such that each unique learner, regardless of background, special needs, or level of commitment to coursework can demonstrate content mastery” (p. 38). Teachers have a very full plate of assigned expectations on what should be taught, but what is rarely mentioned is the pressure to motivate the students to not just learn the information but to want to learn. So the question is how do you teach a student to want to learn? Mantell (2013) suggests that motivation begins with psychological membership, a sense of belonging in the classroom. Teachers can encourage their students by helping them want to be a part of the classroom community and share the successes with one another. Teachers encourage students by developing a community environment within the classroom-which provides a safe haven for students both in the literal sense and in offering safe opportunities for academic risk-taking-along with a strong support system of adults and peers, teachers can help to foster a sense of belonging in the student (Mantell, 2013, p 39). Once the students are comfortable in their classroom environment it is then that Mantell proposes educators enable their students to experience a connection to the content (2013). This creates a deeper, more intimate understanding of the information presented and heightens the interests of the students. Student perception of relevance, authenticity, and instrumentality in their coursework propels them to move forward and begin to establish goals or envision outcomes (Mantell, 2013). Mantell (2013) implies that the critical step for students to reach in the motivation process is the development of intrinsic motivation, the…