In the course, we read about and discussed motivation quite a lot and r some interesting things have come out of it. First of all, there is Claxton’s idea of the attention cone and the areas of diffusion, concentration and tunnel vision. Even if not directly related to motivation, it’s quite clear to me that people who are motivated will be able to keep on the concentration area of the cone, whereas, non-motivated people will find themselves drifting around the diffusion area. So motivation techniques and strategies should ultimately help people to concentrate on a given task or aim in order to move from the initial interest in something to the stage where they actually start and keep doing something.
I suppose doing is a key idea related to motivation. One of my classmates got it brilliantly in one of our sessions when she said that ‘motivation is about people actually doing something.’ All this talk of intention is just diversion. it could be argued that there is no real motivation, if it is not translated into action. The key aspect for teachers is how to make people move from intention to act and then sustain the effort.
How to do it? As usual, there is no single answer, but some graphs and articles Tony gave us helped me conceptualize things and see them clearly. For me the key issues are: pressure, skills, challenge and support. All of them must be present and at least roughly tuned if we want to make things happen. If one of them falters, the whole process is compromised. How to get the right dose of everything? I wish there were a single answer, but again it will depend on the situation, the people involved and their cultural background. There are so many factors that I fear more ink and tress will be wasted on this for the years to come.