Inspiring High School Students
Lack of motivation can dramatically affect grades and test scores
Studies have shown that personal motivation, or lack thereof, can be a major contributing factor in student performance. Schools in Fresno are currently experimenting with a game-like performance tracking app, much like Fitbit, to motivate students with a new twist on the old-fashioned competition.
In Minnesota, an online version of a mentoring program started in the ’70s is helping prepare students for life after high school in the business world. It’s an eight-week program that focuses on three outcomes, career exploration, workplace skills, and communication and writing skills.
A recent study done in the U.S. and China found that American students can be motivated to score better on standardized math tests through financial incentives.
Research has shown a steep decline in motivation as students go through the education journey from Kindergarten through high school, creating a real challenge for education professional, especially those who teach teenagers. Considering the impact of social lives, social media and all the other distractions outside the walls of the classroom, finding ways to motivate high school students to do their best in school and on tests can be difficult.
It’s OK for students to be motivated by concrete goals, like getting into a top college or making more money later in life. It can work, as shown by the study mentioned above that created an instant boost in performance on a test through nothing but good, old-fashioned financial bribery.
But some say there is a better, longer lasting way. Cultivating a purpose for students can lead to improved results in the classroom, greater happiness, and a reduction in depression and anxiety.
While the search for the “meaning of life” may be an endless journey, getting students started on that journey can be good for them in school and life.