Thursday, September 10, 2009

Motorvatin' over the hill

I recently read some interesting comments on student motivation to succeed at their NCEA studies. It came from the New Zealand Ministry of Education (I hope you were sitting down) in a summary report titled, snazzily, "Motivation and Achievement at Secondary School". It may have past you by.

This bit on external influences on achievement grabbed my attention -

Students who do small amounts of part-time work, sport or other extracurricular activities show higher motivation and achievement patterns than students who do not participate in these activities or who do so more than 10 hours weekly.
Okay it's not earth shattering but when it's added to the following little nugget it provides some encouragement:

Whereas achievement in Year 11 (in 2005) was a significant predictor of achievement in Year 3 (in 2007), positive motivation orientations added significantly to the accuracy of prediction of future achievement. Motivation orientations were better predictors of total credits achieved two years later than predictions made solely on credits attained in previous years.
So, students can significantly build on their success at level 1 (and improve their success at level 2 and 3) by improving their motivation. This can be done by:
  • Working towards a merit or excellent endorsement,
  • Improving their relationships with teachers,
  • Being involved in sport or other extra-curricular activities and,
  • Getting some part-time work.

This is a good message I think. It encourages students to aim higher and be more involved in wider than study activities. Seems that old saying 'all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy' has some life to it yet.

1 comment:

richnz said...

And of those four Id suggest that better relationships with teachers is the number one.

Schools (and more importantly individual teachers) being proactive developing relationships with students is vital...Key competency relating to others applies to teachers as much as it does to students!