Instructional methods: How does the teacher motivate and sustain the learner’s attention in a learning situation?



Chapter Seven

Motivation in Teaching and Learning 

7 b iv).Discuss how a teacher can motivate and sustain the learner’s attention in a learning situation.

How does the teacher motivate or/and sustain the learner’s attention in a learning situation?

  1. The teacher paying attention to the classroom physical appearance, e.g. making it neat, pleasant, comfortable, bright, decorative with displays and pictures which are clean, relevant attractive, interesting and up to date.
  2. One checking on  the physical comfort of the learners: Attention should be drawn on how comfortable their seats are, the amount of light and heat in the room, the ventilation etc.
  3. Paying attention to teacher’s characteristics: the teacher can motivate the learners personally be creating a favorable atmosphere in the classroom in the following ways:
  1. Catering for the learner’s individual differences by paying attention to their entry behavior, and understanding each child as an individual with unique interests, talents, needs, aspirations which must be appealed to in the teaching/learning process, e.g. allowing them to participate in the learning activities of their interest, while at the same time understanding that they belong to a group (a class) and must work for a common cause with shared responsibilities.
  2. Maintaining success expectations: The teacher has to  see to it that students have a large measure of success in class which raises their aspirations and makes them strive on.Assignment given  should be clear, challenging but reasonable . The  assignment must be both every easy and difficult so that all students are sure to pass some questions and fail others. Even in grading, the teacher should ensure that everyone in the class has a chance to make at least a grade C if she/he works hard. The learners should be involved in activities which will give them a sense of achievement or progress towards a sense of success.
  3. Using interesting teaching strategies and methods: This means paying more attention on heuristic as opposed to expository strategies of learning. The teacher has to incorporate in the teaching, game-like activities, use of simulations, role playing, debates, real life situations, mock trials, e.g. court proceedings, problem-solving such as those involving the community, use of audio and visual aids among others.
  4. Introducing variety, novelty, and familiarity in the lessons: The instructor has to put in place vivid illustrations, activities, different procedures or approaches, varying social structures of tasks (cooperative, competitive, individualistic), connecting unfamiliar and abstract content to something within their experience .
  5. Providing learners with opportunity for activity response: Each learner must be actively involved in the lesson through activity/activities which is /are worthwhile and interesting to her/him. This calls for special activities for individuals and groups.
  6. Utilizing learners  present motives: It means making learning relevant to the learners’ lives, avoiding repetitions and irrelevancies. The task given must have some value to the student, i.e. attainment, intrinsic and utility value.
  7. The teacher should minimize performance anxiety by putting less emphasis on grade and competition.
  8. The learners should be given immediate feedback. They must be told the progress they are making, where they have weaknesses and how they can improve and excel.

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