Teaching (the Catalyst for Learning), Control, Health, Evaluations
Make Teaching the Catalyst for Learning
Three strategies that make teaching the catalyst for learning are teacher as artist, teacher as technician, and teacher as role model (Hoxmeier, 1987).
Teacher as Artist
With the "teacher as artist" strategy, the instructor becomes the verbal designer of knowledge in order to motivate students. With this approach, the instructor utilizes a variety of acting techniques, forms of expression, and imagination to involve students in the learning process. Acting techniques include body movements, voice projection, non-verbal forms of communication, and role playing. Humor, whimsey, contentedness, pleasure, and concern are forms of expression that may be employed as catalysts for learning. Imaginativeness involves calling into play all of the senses when conveying knowledge.
Teacher as Technician
The "teacher as technician" strategy involves teaching to maximize learning. Several approaches may be used individually or in combination to enhance motivation to learn.
Teacher as Role Model
With the "teacher as role model" strategy, the instructor demonstrates, through everyday practice, the appropriate behaviors that make an effective and motivated learner. The following suggestions help the instructor to become a good role model.
Sense of Control
Motivation levels may be intricately linked to one's sense of control over various aspects of his/her life. Highly motivated persons often have effective time management skills, are organized, have well defined personal goals, and are in control of physical and mental well-being. For more information on these topics, refer to the following strategy pages.
Achieving and maintaining high levels of motivation are difficult if an individual is in poor physical or mental health. It is important that one get adequate rest, exercise, and nutrition. One should seek medical attention when ill and professional assistance for sensory deficits. Mental health must be monitored to avoid excessive stress, anxiety, or depression. Individuals can learn relaxation and coping techniques, and they should be familiar with professional counseling serves available at school or work.
Because physical and mental health strategies are discussed at length elsewhere, please refer to the following pages for more information.
Knowledge of Evaluation Results
One of the most neglected areas of motivation intervention is precise knowledge of evaluation results. A common student question is "How am I doing?" Students need to understand clearly and precisely how evaluations were determined and why they received a particular score. Instructors should explain what was done well on an assignment and what is needed for improvement.
The more specific the form of evaluation, the more motivational it is for students. Simply reporting a number grade or a letter grade is one of the worst methods of evaluation. That approach offers no positive reinforcement and no guidelines for future reference. Written or oral comments are vastly superior and should always accompany number and letter grades.