Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/544
Motivation refers to something that guides behavior towards certain goals. In the classroom, students are guided by both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. These are very different but sometimes intertwined types of motivation which appear to work in different ways. Both types of motivation have their benefits and drawbacks in the classroom, but overall, researchers agree that intrinsic motivation is the more powerful tool. Extrinsic motivators encourage students to perform tasks or activities in order to receive some type of reward or to avoid some type of punishment. While these motivators have a positive short-term effect on controlling behavior and keeping attention on uninteresting tasks, they must be repeatedly reinforced by praise or rewards. Intrinsic motivators, on the other hand, encourage students to perform tasks and activities because they feel these are satisfying or pleasurable in and of themselves. These motivators benefit students by enhancing long-term strategy development, self-direction and time spent on learning activities.
Student motivation in the reading classroom is a particularly important area to focus on because studies have shown that children who are intrinsically motivated tend to read more frequently than other children. Researchers have argued that children's reading frequency is an important predictor of their reading comprehension. It has also been found that intrinsically motivated students tend to use more sophisticated reasoning skills, learning strategies and deeper text processing. They also show higher levels of conceptual learning, longer-term learning retention, and more use of complex learning strategies. All of these are crucial to higher-order thinking which is an asset to all areas of study. Efforts to increase children's reading motivation therefore have important implications not just for student reading comprehension but for overall school achievement.
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