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  • Subject Name : Early Childhood

Motivating Young Learners to Learn Through Teaching Practices

Introduction to Education Psychology and Pedagogical Practices

Young learners are the most versatile ones. They are able to grasp anything very easily if it is demonstrated in a proper way. The way by which this can be made possible is the efficient way of teaching-learning process. For carrying out the learning process efficiently, educators have a great part to play. Their efforts must work positively in enhancing motivation. It can be done through various methods and aids. The further discussion would be motivating the young learners through different teaching practices and how maximum outcomes are achieved through it. The following essay will cover the theories and strategies for motivating the learners.

The approach by which young learners can be motivated are the constructivist way of teaching, collaborative teaching, cooperative or supported learning, scaffolding and by demonstration.Discussing about the emergent way of learning, the curriculum of the emergent learning is made. It is designed in such a way that it interests the learners. It can be modeled as ‘theme of the week”. It is based on the rule that learners learn things easily and successfully if the topics interest them and they can relate it with life experiences. The educators are the observer here as well as facilitator. The educators must provide them with the tools through which they can learn and keep them alive in their memories. It is a way through which meaningful learning is provided to the learners. Learners are given real life situations or chances where they can learn about their environment directly. Emergent learning adopted in curriculum has a majority of advantages. It serves the children’s interest in the development. Educators have to be active throughout. They can provide learners with varied topics with creative assignments. The assignments must have topics which will help in developing their cognitive thinking.High order thinking abilities must be envisaged in the worksheets where they can easily answer them with the help of their practical observation. Learner’s individual strengths can be identified through this method. This way of learning is learning by doing. The parents and adults are also involved in the learning process(Biermier, 2015).

 Under the emergent learning, the educators can provide scaffolding to the young learners. Scaffolding is a term used in the socio- cultural theory of Vygotsky. It is the extra help tailored to the learners. Scaffolding was developed in the Zone of Proximal Development where the teachers offer help to the learners in understanding and completing the task assigned to them. It is generally the help of other knowledgeable people. For young learners, the educators are the other knowledgeable person. Educators can assign and arrange a classroom project such as vegetable drawing in which the learners will do the drawing with the help of the educator. Providing this scaffolding will construct confidence and motivation in learners.Various research showed that scaffolding is greatly associated with success on different results such as self learning, block-building and puzzle construction tasks and long-division math homework(Pino-Pasternak et al.2010).

Constructivism refers to constructing one's own knowledge by seeing or interpreting the outside world. Constructivism is theory where learners construct their own knowledge before entering the school. Jean Piaget, Lev Vygotsky Dewey and many others have contributed to the theory of constructivism. According to these scholars, the child is born with insight knowledge and interprets his observation by getting the passive information. The educators can apply the constructivist way of teaching by involving the learners in experimentation, field trips, showing educational films and many others. Field trips such as visits to museums, zoos, botanical gardens can enhance the assimilation of the knowledge. They can accommodate their new ones into the old knowledge forum. Having allotted time for movies related to their interest awakens their interest without bringing monotony. For Young learners, construction of knowledge by showing practical things enhances their memory and they can easily relate to the environment present around them(Gunduz & Hursen, 2015).

New visions have been invented and applied in the constructivist theory. The teachers are the role model for the learners till teenage and even adolescents. The learners find only educators around them upto a certain age. They develop bonds with the educators. For an instance, the physical education teachers play a vital role in modeling themselves to kids. The activity of the teacher influences the activities of the young learners. The behaviour and gestures also enhances their development. The learners here learn through observation. The behaviour that is observed by the learners are unconsciously absorbed and incorporated into their daily routines and beliefs(Cruess et al., 2008). 

Integrated approach in learning is the holistic development of the young learners. It is done by enhancing knowledge in all curricular areas. The approach includes development of all skills i.e listening, speaking. Reading and writing. The development of these skills are necessary because these skills are interrelated. The development of one skill depends on the development of the other skill. The educators must keep in mind to provide the learners with all tools which will help in developing the skills. For example, elocution can be organised where the learners can recite a particular poem. This will help them brush up their speaking and reading skills. Dictations can also help in improving their listening and writing skills(Hubball & Burt, 2004)

Community approach is an inevitable part by which classroom environment can be made healthy. Traditional classrooms were all about teachers giving lectures and kids taking down the notes. Now the scenario has changed. The learners must learn to help their peers during the teaching learning process. They should work in groups and assist each other to get results of the given tasks. Whenever a group work is successful, the educator must display it in the classroom. It encourages them and a feeling of self satisfaction occurs. They feel proud of their achievement which produces positive feelings leading to a healthy future generation(Whitington & McInnes, 2017)

Motivation in young learners can also be achieved by applications of socio behaviorist theories of Pavlov,Skinner and Bandura. They performed different experiments on animals. The outcome they achieved was very similar to humans. It could be easily applied in teaching the learners. Pavlov’s classical conditioning theory can be utilised in many ways. The conditioning can help form good habits eliminating the bad ones such as sincerity, cooperation, discipline. The classical conditioning is based on the property of reward and punishment. The good deeds bring rewards and bad one cause punishment. For example, if the educator rewards the learner for good handwriting, it will motivate him more and he will continue to improve(Bitterman, 2006)

B.F Skinner’s operant conditioning is about positive and negative reinforcement. He experimented on a pigeon. He believed that the causes of people’s behavior are in the environment. They do not occur from within the human. The inner mental behaviours are shaped by the environment. In course of activities, the organism encounters a reinforcing stimulus and this decides their behavior. Thus educators can get 2 reinforcements: Positive and negative. The positive reinforcement are those where the stimulus and response is strong and the negative are those where the stimulus and response is less. For example, the educator can keep rewards for one who has kept up the good grades. The reward for the good grades will reinforce the behaviour and the learners will try their best to receive them. It is helpful for those learners as well who are weak and are not capable of getting good grades. The reward system will also motivate them to work on their performance in the classroom(Vargas, 2015).

Albert Bandura denotes the social cognitive learning theory. It is based on learning through indirect experiences. It explains how an individual maintains his behavioural patterns according to the situation. The situation here means his environment and people. This theory is about observational learning where the behaviour changes with the observation of something different. The four steps involved in this theory is attention, retention, reproduction and motivation. Here the educators must be cautious because the learners see and imitate their teachers. The peer of the learners must also be good which will inculcate good habits. The parents must also ensure that the good examples have been set in front of the learners(Kurt, 2019).

Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory is the most efficient of all the theories related to intelligence. He stated that there are 8 areas where intelligence can occur. It does not limit to studying or books. The 8 areas include mathematical, spatial, linguistic, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic and existential. Educators can help young learners develop these areas in the classroom situation. The pupils must be given a chance to interact while solving a problem. They can be given group assignments. It will be a form of collaborative learning where the pupils will learn from each other while solving the problem.

Multiple intelligence are the problem solving entities. The learners can be supplied with puzzles and crosswords which can increase their knowledge on mathematics. To develop kinesthetic intelligence, the learners must be allowed to play and do various skits and sport activity. The respective areas of intelligence can be taken up and the educators would provide learners some situation and context where they would act according to their wit. Educators can ensure that they will be successful in bringing out the best in a learner by applying tasks to them in each of the mentioned areas of intelligence(Dolati & Tahriri, 2017).

Role of the educators in motivating is considered very vital. Educator’s enthusiasm is very important in motivating the learners. The educators must use tools of expression to increase motivation through enthusiasm. The educator’s enthusiastic behaviour increases the focus of the learners and they become attentive. The way of teaching using body movements and expression also grabs their attention. Young learners learn poems and rhymes fastly when taught using movements of the body.

Educators can motivate the young learners by giving them positive feedback while assessing their work. Giving feedback helps them to believe that they can perform better. When educators provide feedback, the learners get an idea that their hard work is appreciated and gives them confidence. It also ensures that they will work harder in future and achieve their learning outcomes. The most common ways are verbal or praise in writing, helping students recognize their strengths and help them focus on their strengths and weaknesses. A couple of research on the role of educators for motivating the learners have positive outcomes. It has proved that enthusiastic teachers and feedback given to the learners have increased the percentage of outcome and motivated them well. The learners are performing well with these techniques(Ali et al., 2011)

For subject oriented motivation, AV aids can be used in the learning process. It is very effective to arouse motivation in the learners. There are many types of AV aids. The educators must decide and use them wisely to achieve the learning outcomes. Each aid has their own function. The PPT presentation can be for a lesson on literature. The real objects like “types of leaves” or “different parts of plants”, can be used to demonstrate experiments in science classes. Inanimate objects that are countable can be used to demonstrate concepts of mathematics. In a nutshell it should make the class interesting. It must arouse interest and learners must understand the concept without rote learning. In order to use the aids, the educators must know the functions of it and how it can be fully used. It has to be utilized at the right place and in the right way. Therefore instructional aids must be in knowledge of the educators(Abbas & Khurshid,2013).

Conclusion on Education Psychology and Pedagogical Practices

Motivation is an important factor that works for humans at all levels. Motivation in learners can be achieved by using the right ways and strategies. The theories and the statements mentioned above conclude that the educator can use various ways to inhibit motivation among learners. The use of objects such as rewards, use of positive and negative reinforcements and tools such as giving remarks on the good things done impose positive effects on them. Therefore it is concluded that motivation can be achieved in teaching learners and getting the best results out of them. 

References for Education Psychology and Pedagogical Practices

Abbas, M., & Khurshid, F. (2013). Motivational Techniques and Learners ’Academic Achievement at Primary Level Motivational Techniques and Learners Academic Achievement at Primary Level. Retrieved from, https://globaljournals.org/GJHSS_Volume13/2-Motivational-Techniques-and-Learners.pdf

Ali, Z., Tatlah, I., & Saeed, M. (2011). Motivation and student’s behavior: A tertiary level study. International Journal of Psychology and Counselling, 3(2), 29–32. Retrieved from https://academicjournals.org/journal/IJPC/article-full-text-pdf/55E940214344

Biermier, M.A. (2015). Inspired by Reggio Emilia: Emergent Curriculum in Relationship-Driven Learning Environments | NAEYC. Naeyc.Org. Retrieved from:https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/nov2015/emergent-curriculum

Bitterman, M. E. (2006). Classical conditioning since Pavlov. Review of General Psychology, 10(4), 365–376.Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1037/1089-2680.10.4.365

‌Cruess, S. R., Cruess, R. L., & Steinert, Y. (2008). Role modelling—making the most of a powerful teaching strategy. BMJ, 336(7646), 718–721. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39503.757847.be

Dolati, Z., & Tahriri, A. (2017). EFL Teachers’ Multiple Intelligences and Their Classroom Practice. SAGE Open, 7(3), 215824401772258.Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244017722582

Gunduz, N., & Hursen, C. (2015). Constructivism in Teaching and Learning; Content Analysis Evaluation. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 191, 526–533. Retrieve from:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.04.640

‌Hubball, H., & Burt, H. (2004). An integrated approach to developing and implementing learning‐centred curricula. International Journal for Academic Development, 9(1), 51–65. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1080/1360144042000296053

‌Kurt, S. (2019, December 26). Social Learning Theory: Albert Bandura. Educational Technology. Retrieved from https://educationaltechnology.net/social-learning-theory-albert-bandura/

‌Pino-Pasternak, D., Whitebread, D., & Tolmie, A. (2010). A Multidimensional Analysis of Parent–Child Interactions During Academic Tasks and Their Relationships With Children’s Self-Regulated Learning. Cognition and Instruction, 28(3), 219–272. Retrieved from:https://doi.org/10.1080/07370008.2010.490494

‌Vargas, E. A. (2015). B. F. Skinner’s theory of behavior. European Journal of Behavior Analysis, 18(1), 2–38.Retrieved from:https://doi.org/10.1080/15021149.2015.1065640

Whitington, V., & McInnes, E. (2017). Developing a ‘classroom as community’ approach to supporting young children’s wellbeing. Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, 42(04), 23–29. Retrieved from,https://doi.org/10.23965/ajec.42.4.03

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