Motivation: The Struggle for Students


Finals week is coming up next week for me, bringing all the usual stress of trying to maintain my grades.  However, the way high school is set up, many students find difficulty in finding in doing well in school.  Let’s explore and see how school can affect the motivation of students.

In an MIT study, two students had been asked to complete complex math problems with rewards.  Times for those who had $300 rewards for finishing quickly vs $30 rewards were recorded.  People who had the higher money reward tended to actually finish, slower however, than those with the lower reward, slitting their attention between the reward and the task itself.  The bigger the reward, the more our minds can be affected in pressure situations.

When we relate this to studying and school, we can see a possible cause for students doing badly in school.  Students who need to bring their grades up can see getting a good grade as a very high reward.  Therefore, students will have their attention divided between the task they are doing  and the value of their grade.

This can help explain how stress, finales, and grades can negatively impact students.  In the future we education should be the main focus of grades, but sadly in this day getting into college sadly encourages such an emphasis on grades.

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