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18th February 2005 at 00:00
Pupils say they are motivated by teachers who have a sense of humour but demotivated by teachers who hand out punishments for stupid things.

The Aberlour Child Care Trust used an intervention strategy called "Insight" to help young people and has passed its findings to the inquiry.

In their own words, this is what has a positive impact on their motivation

* Doing classes I enjoy and seeing pals.

* Teachers that are OK - depends on what classes I have.

* Teachers that have a sense of humour.

The following have a negative effect

* School starts too early. Don't like the teachers. Knowing that teachers don't like me.

* Not being able to choose classes.

* Teachers who shout.

* Teachers who hand out punishment for stupid things, such as turning round or talking.

* Sarcastic teachers and being bullied by teachers.

* Talking about students in the staffroom and telling us. One teacher said:

"We had a brilliant conversation about you today."

Experiences outside school that impact on motivation include

* Fighting that starts outside school carries on in school.

* If there are problems at home then I can't concentrate at school as I'm too worried, then I get punishment exercises.

Motivating influences or effective teaching approaches include

* Teachers who build a relationship with you, help you and stop you getting into trouble.

* Support service has smaller class numbers and it's a more relaxed place - you can talk while working, you are treated better by staff.

* Getting one-to-one support from the support learning base. I'm too easily distracted in class by friends.

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