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Práctica Profesional Docente I

Prof. Ma. Fabiana Vega

Cristina Carrasco Noviembre 2015



Many studies on motivation have revealed different theories about how to

motivate ourselves and other people. In recent years, a growing number of schools has
implemented programs designed to increase the levels of learner motivation, in
particular, their capacity for self-motivation, and eventually, autonomy.

James Groccia (2004) acknowledges that ‘Students require some form of

stimulus to activate, provide direction for, and encourage persistence in their study and
learning efforts. He defines Motivation as “this energy to study, to learn and achieve
and to maintain these positive behaviors over time. Motivation is what stimulates
students to acquire, transform and use knowledge.'

Motivation might be best described as having the desire and willingness

to do something. Theories of motivation have often focused on two distinct
categories: extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. The first one refers to the attempt to
satisfy a desire, an expectation, or a goal without being influenced to do so by another
person, or by an external incentive or reward. We determine which our own goals and
expectations are. Intrinsic motivation is sometimes referred as self-motivation. In the
second category, extrinsic motivation, we are compelled to do something or act in a
certain way because of external factors. These might include incentives and rewards or
even punishments. Someone else usually determines the goals or expectations.

The quality of being an independent student is the feeling of self reliability and
self accomplishment and, therefore, he becomes more and more motivated to
continue studying. Since the desire to learn comes from a personal need, the learning
process becomes more efficient and effective. Generally, when someone learns
something it is because he wants to, and not because he is forced to do so. He has a
tendency for better absorbing the information.

Motivation and autonomy cannot be denied at schools, particularly, in the

classroom. Young teenagers need both since learning and studying is a challenge and a

Práctica Profesional Docente I
Prof. Ma. Fabiana Vega
Cristina Carrasco Noviembre 2015

responsibility. So, as a mother of a young teenager, I asked myself how motivation and
autonomy are related and developed in the classroom.

The purpose of this qualitative study, a case study, will be to describe the
relationship between motivation and autonomy in young teenagers at a primary
school, at Jáchal, in San Juan.



In the last years, schools recognized that intrinsic, or self-motivation is a

powerful driver of learning and achievement.

Intrinsic motivation presumes that we all have an instinctive capacity to learn

and that learning is a natural activity. Intrinsic motivation is so powerful that children
have a genuine interest in reaching the goal, and not getting the reward. Knowledge
and proficiency are required to achieve the goal. Also, the context in which they learn
is important as they can later use the knowledge and skills acquired there. Thus, the
challenge for schools, teachers, parents and teenagers is to tap into and build on this
intrinsic motivation and autonomy.


A student from Escuela Normal Superior Fray Justo Santa María de Oro in
Jáchal, San Juan, was interviewed for this research. Below, there are the questions and
his answers.

¿Te gusta ir a la escuela? No

¿Por qué motivos no te gusta? Porque me tengo que levantar temprano

y a veces nos quitan los recreos por culpa

Práctica Profesional Docente I
Prof. Ma. Fabiana Vega
Cristina Carrasco Noviembre 2015

de otros niños que no se comportan.

¿Te gusta aprender? A veces.

¿Sabes por qué vas a la escuela? Para aprender cosas nuevas, tener un
buen trabajo y que me vaya bien en la

¿Tu maestra te agrada? Si

¿Hacen juegos en el aula? No

¿Te gustaría que hubiesen? Sí

¿Tus compañeros te agradan? Algunos si, algunos no.

¿En general te sentís cómodo? A veces si, a veces no.

¿En casa te ayudan con las tareas? Si.

¿Te sentís apoyado? A veces.

¿Qué actividades te gustaría tener en Con juegos y más guiadas.


¿Pensás que aprendiendo a través de Sí.

juegos podés aprender?


After having the interview with the student and analyzing what he said, I have
the feeling he needs a variety of teaching aids for the apprehension of the contents.
For example, using the cellphone, laptops and any other technological device is quite
suitable for teaching nowadays. Also, playing games and taking part in recreational
activities encourage his sense of working in team. The traditional class needs to
change its structure: students do not pay attention to oral presentations and
monologues delivered by the teacher. Students are calling our attention with their lack

Práctica Profesional Docente I
Prof. Ma. Fabiana Vega
Cristina Carrasco Noviembre 2015

of motivation and autonomy. They are saying they want a change. For example, using
songs and movies are one of the most successful resources. Of course, the teacher
should think in the content she wants to teach. Once the topic is chosen, the teacher
should look for other interesting and appealing ways of teaching the topic. She should
be able to cater for diveristy and, at the same time, motívate and develop their


After designing this research, I concluded that students are more autonomous
and self-sufficient when they are well motivated. Motivation and autonomy are two
key points when you are studying and are essential for a good performance in the class.
These are strengthened throughout continuous support and encouragement. The
result of this is a personal need to improve student’s knowledge and capacity. The best
way to summarize this paper is following these steps to motivate students and develop
the sense of autonomy:

1. Know your students' names and use their names as often as possible.

2. Plan for every class.

3. Pay attention to the strengths and limitations of each of your students.

4. Set your room in a U-shape to encourage interaction among students.

5. Vary your instructional strategies; use lectures, demonstrations, discussions,

case studies, groups, and more.

6. Review the learning objectives with your students. Be sure students know what

they are expected to learn, do, know, etc.

7. Move around the room as you teach.

8. Make your classes relevant. Be sure students see how the content relates to
them and the world around them.

Práctica Profesional Docente I
Prof. Ma. Fabiana Vega
Cristina Carrasco Noviembre 2015

9. Be expressive. Smile.

10. Put some excitement into your speech; vary your pitch, volume and rate.

11. Give lots of examples.

12. Encourage students to share their ideas and comments, even if they are
incorrect. You'll never know what students don't understand unless you ask

13. Maintain eye contact and move toward your students as you interact with
them. Nod your head to show that you are listening to them.

14. Provide opportunities for students to speak to the class.

15. Be available before class starts, during break, and after class to visit with

16. Return assignments and tests to students as soon as reasonably

possible. Provide constructive feedback.

17. Be consistent in your treatment of students.

18. Make sure that your exams are current, valid, and reliable. Tie your assessment
to your course objectives.

19. Plan around 15-20 minute cycles. Students have difficulty maintaining attention
after a longer period of time.

20. Involve your students in your teaching. Ask for feedback.

Práctica Profesional Docente I
Prof. Ma. Fabiana Vega
Cristina Carrasco Noviembre 2015


"How motivate young students" Accessed August 17th through

Michael Barber’s publication ‘The Learning Game’ (1994)

“Becoming an autonomous learner” Accessed October 28th through