You are on page 1of 11

Differences between Motivation, Encouragement and Criticism

Developing, Monitoring and Maintaining Productive Student Behaviours













Motivation is an inner drive that arouses pupils, steers them in particular directions, goals or tasks and causes them to be persistent in trying to achieve the goals or completing the task successfully (Lenin & Nolan,1991). Intrinsic motivation deals with behaviour performed for its own sake in order to experience satisfaction.

A comment which shows acceptance, emphasizes effort and improvement, appreciates contributions, gets one to evaluate his/her own performance, and instill faith and confidence (Adler,1946; p. 509) The acceptance and focuses on individuals potentials and abilities.

The act of making comment about someones performance or behaviour. This implies that the comments can be presented in a positive or negative tone.


Destructive criticism focuses on individuals inadequacies and personhood which can erode his/her self-esteem and selfefficacy

Extrinsic motivation deals with behaviour performed to receive some extrinsic rewards or recognition.

Positive/ Constructive criticism (ibid) acts as a catalyst for growth and change, exposes individual to alternative options which leads to reassessment of task performance.

Characteristics of pupils

Positively motivated pupils would always pay attention to the lesson, involve actively in the lesson, direct her/his energy to the learning tasks and believe she/he has the ability and confidence to succeed.

Confident, aware of their own strengths and stimulates motivation from within them (intrinsic motivation).

Children with mature sociocognitive understanding are able to read and correctly interpret what their teacher says may take criticism more seriously . Children who are better at understanding others will be more able to rationalize teacher criticism and understand that criticism of school work is constructive and is intended to promote learning and improvement.

A pupil who is not motivated or lacking in motivation would aim to only do enough to avoid failure, have little confidence or expectation of succeeding in the task and have low interest in the lesson.

The comments made about their work or performance are destructive or constructive criticism depends on their sociocognitive maturity and understanding (Cutting & Dunn, 2002)

Ways to Motivate Pupils

Teachers have a good understanding of the strategies that can be used to motivate pupils. Teachers can actively manipulate many of the environmental and contextual variables to increase pupil motivation.

Pupil Interest - Relate teaching and learning materials to pupil interest in life outside school, design variety of activities which pupil enjoy e.g. simulation, group work, video viewing, games etc. Pupil Needs activities that meet some of their basic human needs such as sense of belonging and self-esteem through group work and pair work.

Success - manageable activities within the time duration given and according to pupils ability level, making clear learning goals or objectives and organise teaching content of the lesson clearly, teaching pupils study skills. Variety and Novelty - encourage mastery learning, maximize learning opportunities for different learning styles, pupils experience something new, unusual or unexpected through various activities.

Tension - moderate amount of tension to enhance motivation and increase pupil learning. Feeling Tone - moderately positive atmosphere where the climate is friendly and pleasant but focused on the learning task. Feedback - specific feedback to pupils soon after or at the time of performance or presentation, focus on performance, allow pupils to keep track of their own progress over time.

Considerations When Using Encouragement

value pupils as they are use words that build the pupils self-esteem plan for experiences that create success demonstrate genuineness to pupils demonstrate non-verbal acceptance through touch recognise pupils effort avoid emphasis on liabilities show appreciation for pupils cooperation