Motivation in Education

Lighting a Fire

How Educators Can Motivate Students for Long-Term Success in Math

by Sean Akerman, PhD

Recent research in neuroscience says that intelligence is ‘fliuid,’ considerably more dependent upon nurture than nature. What, then, does this require of a teacher? The answer is determinedly humanistic; a willingness to form a personal connection with the student, positive regard, and the ability to differentiate instruction to meet the needs of individual learners. Students require a safe, structured learning environment, in which they feel capable of mastering content; however, it is the masterful teacher who understand how to engage students in the learning process, allows them to draw cross-curricular connections, and inspires them to use content creatively. This is especially the case when it comes to teaching math, a subject with which many students struggle.