Thursday, May 10, 2012


When teaching, it is important to understand that motivation is central to all learning. A child can be motivated for a variety of reasons, but in order for them to learn anything, they must be motivated by something.  Here are some examples of motivating factors for young children:

  • Fun
  • Bonding time with a parent or favorite caregiver
  • Novel activities
  • Nature
  • Novel outings 
  • A desire to understand how something works
  • A desire to communicate needs/wants
  • Favorite foods or other tangibles
These motivators must be built into the learning activity, not given separately as a bribe or reward. For example, if you want to teach your child about the color red, and he loves cherry gelatin, you have a perfect storm of motivated learning at snack time. However, if you are trying to teach your child the names of letters, and you offer him red gelatin as a bribe if he sits and reads an ABC book with you, the activity is going to be a loss. The motivator must be integrated into the learning itself.

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