Isaac Nkrumah (4th Quarter, 2009)

4th Quarter, 2009
Teacher Scholarship Winner
Isaac Nyrumah

My name is Isaac Nkrumah. I come from Agona Nyakrom in the central region, Ghana West African. I am 32 years old. Having the passion to teach, I enrolled in the Komenda Teacher Training College, currently College of Education and was awarded Teachers Certificate “A” after I had gone through three years intensive studies. I then after school taught for four years at the Junior High School level. I further enrolled in the University of Education, Winneba Kumasi to read Information Technology Education having in mind to teach ICT to students or pupils after completion.

A Portion Of Isaac’s Winning Essay:

Teaching is the process by which knowledge is imparted to learners. But for teaching and learning to take place, the rediness of the learners should be taken into consideration. However, for me to facilitate the learning process, I will have to make sure that an enabling teaching and learning environment is provided. By this, I will remain an effective, reflective and motivated teacher who will make sure that at any point in time, my lessons are based on the Relevant previous knowledge of the learners in question, objectives of my lesson are stated clearly and are within learners level of maturation. I will also conduct a remediation classes for learners when where learners have completely not understood a lesson.

As a motivated teacher, I will make sure that my students are motivated because motivation plays a vital role in learning. And the reason(s) why I want to be a motivated teacher is /are outlined below: The pervasiveness of education is triggered by leaning. That is, the materialization of learning is made possible through its enabling environment it envisages as well as the readiness of learners. The inferences of some psychological drives or issues that depict psychological connotations to facilitate teaching and learning are of much importance to teachers or instructors. In this regard, teachers have to know the psychological issues that trigger students learning, the dependency of students’ achievement and how learning affects performance. Hence, motivation is seen as one of the psychological issues that has direct link with learning. Students basically learn to acquire knowledge and skills, but the drive that affects these necessities of learning is undeniably centers on motivation. Admittedly, motivation in ones sense is a process of arousing, maintaining and controlling interest in a situation. In another sense, motivation is a general term used to describe the conditions or factors which activate and direct behaviors towards particular goals. It is quite embracing that teacher’s provision for individual differences and giving learners freedom to develop their unique potentialities, his appropriate use of rewards, friendly competition and recognition, provision of knowledge of progress derived from tests and observation of learners’ abilities and aptitudes, his encouragement etc. and the parents interest they show in the child’s education and their appropriate use of rewards and encouragement, jointly seek to motivate learners to learn harder and with enthusiasm.

Therefore, motivation as a drive, a state of unrest or irritation that vigorously energizes ones behavior is characteristically seen as goal directed. Motivation of learners is one of the most important principles of teaching. The success of a teacher is to a very large extent, dependent upon his ability to motivate learners effectively. With it, learners cannot be prevented from learning. Moreover, the inborn patterns of behavior such as curiosity and anxiety, biological needs, psychological needs, cognitive needs, the manner of motivation like rewards which are imposed externally bring to the fore the intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors. These types of motivational factors go along way to affect learning. In the first place, it provides learners with information feedback on their activity. It stipulates under this context that, when learners are not provided with the knowledge of the results of their performance on an activity, they fail to show any improvement and do not work harder and with pleasure. Conversely, learners improve rapidly and work enthusiastically when they are provided with information feedback since it motivates them to find their work more interesting and so work with enthusiasm. Also, learners who know that they have performed well on a given task would make all effort to repeat their performances or would perform more satisfactorily on subsequent tasks while those who perform poorly would also make all effort to improve upon their performances on subsequent tasks. From the foregoing, when learners are motivated, their responsibilities are enhanced. This is closely allied to a situation where the need for achievement activates learners to learn on their own accord, that is, at home, during vacation and in school after classes.

Fatigue offset and boredomness that affect students learning can be underpinned by motivation because if manners of motivation are administered appropriately, learners would develop their full potentials (that is the need for self actualization), activate learners continued pursuit for knowledge (the need for social recognition), enhance punctuality as the desire for achievement, motivate learners to attend to classes on time in order not to miss lessons, as well as help learners to direct their full energy towards learning. Quite paradoxically, the relationship of motivation and learning which is by- directional in nature makes motivation to have a direct relationship with performance. In the learning process, motivation is also positively related to learning. Motivated students learn better and understand concepts and issues been taught. But the task of providing an enabling learning environment and make learning more interesting and motivating to promote effective learning lies squarely on the shoulders of the class teacher. Teachers who have the skills and techniques of motivating their students and thus make their class interesting are likely to promote effective learning among their students. It is against this background that teachers should come out with effective strategies to create the necessary conditions in order to make students become motivated in class. Teachers should give learners opportunities for them to participate actively in class. By this, teachers must employ verbal rewards that are tailored during teaching so as to embrace learners’ responses to questions. Also, they should make allowance for individual differences in order to be aware of the learning rates of the individual learners so as to spell out appropriate learning support to learners. The needs and aptitude of learners should be related to curricular programmes to make learners be in consonant and abreast with current changes underway in other to match their learning routines to such changes. Coupled with the above, teachers should make schoolwork real and concrete by using suitable and adequate instructional materials both visuals and non-visuals in teaching. This will go along way to provide visual support to learners, avoid the complexities learners encounter when learning, provide meaningful information, stimulate their interest and finally serve as self-instructional. Provision of information feedback on learners’ activities is a very powerful intermediary tool of learning and motivation.

Therefore, teachers should give prompt feedback on learners’ activities in order to help them know their learning progress. The strategy of establishing good teacher-pupil relationship should be of priority to teachers. Learners gain confidence and become motivated to carry out tasks with enthusiasm when teachers establish good relationship with them. Several advocates have proposed different perspectives on motivation. Among these notable advocates is, Sigmund Freud who came out with the psychoanalytic perspective on motivation. The psychoanalytic perspective stresses that all human behavior are ultimately motivated by one of two instinctual drives, the sexual and aggressive drives. Freud’s concept of the sexual drive extended beyond sexual to include anything that was pleasurable to an individual. Cognitive perspective represents another approach to understanding the effects of learning on the instigation of behavior. In the process of learning that particular behaviors can lead to particular goals expectations about the goals which are established and the goals acquire values. One cognitive approach to motivation, called expectancy-value theory, stresses that the probability of occurrence of behavior depends upon individuals’ perception of the value of a goal as well as their expectation of reaching it. Variations of the theory have been used to study such motives as the need for achievement (Henry Murray) and the need for success (John Atkinson). Other cognitive motivational theories focus on individual characteristics and how those characteristics relate to motivation. Carl Rogers, for example, proposed that an individual strives to become self-actualized, a process important in the development of a mature personality. In effect, the cognitive perspective on motivation advocated by R. W. White (1959) basically emphasizes on the concept of competence motivation, the idea that people are motivated to deal effectively with their immediate environment, to master their world and to process information efficiently. People in this sense do these things not because they serve biological needs, but because people have an internal motivation to effectively interact with the environment. Another distinguishing perspective on motivation, the behavioral perspective, lays concerns about the external rewards and punishment as the determining factors to students’ motivation. Evidently, motivation includes more than the internal forces that push us towards certain behaviors; it also includes incentives, the external stimuli that pull us towards certain actions. Most motivated behaviors are controlled by a combination of drives and incentives. Because of this, incentives that classroom teachers use should include numerical scores and grading systems coupled with certificate(s) of achievement which will provide feedback about the quality of work a student has done. Conclusively, motivation, a psychological issue in teaching and learning can only be made to facilitate learning if effective teachers see it as the approach of providing real- world learning opportunities that are of optimal difficulty and novelty for each student, and as a result will apply it appropriately. References Emmer, E. T., Evertson, C .M. & Clement (1997). Classroom management for successful teachers (4th ed.). Allyn & Bacon James W. Kalat, (1991). Introduction to Psychology. New York: Macmillan

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