Learning and motivation are two sides of the same coin. It has a deep connection. Motivation is the core for human being’s aspirations and achievements. Thus, motivation is crucial to succeed. The learning process is an endless life long process. Motivation is the force that encourages us to face all the tough and challenged circumstances.
Let us have a look on how do we learn?
Did you ever think about who taught babies to walk? Who taught babies to talk?
No-one, no - not even you to your own child. No child is taught – she LEARNS. And she learns by modeling you, by having you encourage her, as a game, playing at being you.
Children learn because it is fun, because they are unafraid of failing – it is not even in their ‘options bank’………they take action, see or hear or feel if something works. If it didn’t they try something else, adjust course all the way to their outcome. They learn because they are naturally in the best emotional state for learning, for expanding their maps of the world. Without that no amount of information would be retained.
The easiest way for someone to learn something is to put it into a reference frame of something they are passionate about. When someone has a passion it’s a strategy that they run with easy excellence. So changing the submodalities of the strategy of something they can’t yet do into the submodalities of the strategy of their passion - their strategy of excellence - results in them then being able to do the once challenging thing easily and well.
I often get this question in my counseling sessions from parents that how to motivate my child for learning ?.
At 6.30 on a weekday morning, when you are trying to get the kids ready for school, get some breakfast into them, get them into the car or bus stop, it is a challenge that they want to play with the dog or her favourite toy instead…..and that is even supposing you have managed to get them out of bed in the first place!
But what is important to you is just not important to them………!
So, rather than repeatedly going through the constant - “But why should I?” from them, and your “Because I say so, that is why!”
How can you make it work for all of you?
A few years ago, I was working in a mainstream school. One day, Arushi (name changed) a nine years old girl, came to my room for a planned remedial session.
“Keerti teacher is stupid. ”
“In what way?” I asked
“She keeps saying that I never put my hand up, or talk to her, or ask questions! But why should I? I’m doing the work!”
(Which actually seemed fair enough to me, but I knew it needed sorting out). So I asked her
“Why do you go to school?”
“Well, to learn of course!” she replied.
“And why does the teacher go to school?”
“Exactly! So, how do you know when you’ve learnt something well?”
“When I can do it”
“Right! But how does the Keerti teacher knows she has taught you well unless you give her feedback…?”
I waited, as she considered this; then she said “So it’s for his benefit, then?”
I nodded. “Oh, OK then, I will do it” she said.
Because that was a value she could sign up to, so she was motivated to do it for that reason, not because I said so, - because it made sense on her scale of what was important…….it was, in every sense, of real value to her!
If you want to know how to motivate anyone to do anything, find out what drives them; because we are driven by what’s important to us - in other words, our values. In fact, contrary to what some people may think, we are not driven by our goals, we set our goals according to our values.
This may sound obvious, I know…..but maybe what is not so obvious to many people – and certainly to most parents and teachers – is that children, no matter how young they are, also have values…they may not be the same as ours, but they are equally valid and worthy of honouring!