A teacher’s hunt for evidence on whether motivation really matters

Have we got motivation all wrong in our schools? Alex Quigley examines the research to find out

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Do an image search online for the word “motivation” and you will be met with inspirational quotes coupled with images of mountaintops and heroic acts. It is no surprise, then, that we attempt to motivate our teenage students with a diet of assemblies heralding the survival skills of Bear Grylls, in the vain hope of inspiring them to stick at their humdrum homework assignments. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this does not always seem to do the trick.

Instead, we need to hunt for the evidence on motivation to find out what really works.

So what do we know already? Well, we know that motivation is a ...

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