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Para obtener un buen rendimiento académico, es imprescindible la presencia de motivación escolar, especialmente en la adolescencia. A continuación, te explicamos todo lo que debes saber sobre este tema.
Escrito y verificado por la psicóloga Ana Couñago.
Última actualización: 10 julio, 2020
La motivación escolar en la adolescencia es fundamental para conseguir el éxito académico en la etapa de Educación Secundaria y, además, desarrollar al máximo nivel todas las potencialidades, capacidades y habilidades. Para ello, tanto el profesorado como la familia de los jóvenes, deben fomentar el interés por el aprendizaje y los estudios.
En este sentido, hay que tener en cuenta que cada estudiante se ve motivado por unas razones concretas, y es importante detectarlas para conocer qué es lo que mueve la conducta del alumnado.
“La motivación es la gasolina del cerebro”.
Según el profesor y pedagogo Enrique Martínez Salanova Sánchez, la motivación por el aprendizaje se puede definir como:
“El interés que tiene el alumno por su propio aprendizaje o por las actividades que le conducen a él. El interés se puede adquirir, mantener o aumentar en función de elementos intrínsecos y extrínsecos”.
Por tanto, la motivación escolar en la adolescencia depende de varios factores que implican a la propia persona y a su entorno.
Tal y como indica Jesús Alonso Tapia, existen siete tipos de deseos o necesidades que determinan la actitud del alumnado a la hora de afrontar las tareas escolares:
La percepción del éxito y del fracaso también determinan la motivación escolar de los adolescentes. Así, las experiencias previas influyen en la conducta y en las atribuciones personales que uno hace sobre los siguientes aspectos:
Además, las expectativas del profesorado son vitales para la motivación de los estudiantes. Por tanto, el docente debe intentar reforzar de forma positiva y equitativa a todo el alumnado, proporcionando:
“La motivación es la mejor herramienta para el aprendizaje, unos alumnos motivados aprenden más y mejor”.
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Durante la enseñanza media, algunos adolescentes pierden las ganas, el interés, la fascinación necesarios para aprender. Es frecuente que en los primeros años de la adolescencia, los jóvenes se quejen por los profesores o por la tarea que tienen que hacer; que abandonen una actividad que en algún momento disfrutaban; que muestren señales de aburrimiento o se encuentren perdidos en la escuela
¿Cómo motivar a los jóvenes cuando pierden el interés en las actividades que realizan dentro y fuera de la escuela? La psicóloga Carol Dweck define la motivación como «el amor por el aprendizaje, el amor por los desafíos». La motivación es, según la autora, un factor fundamental para determinar el éxito en las tareas que emprendemos cada día.
I. A continuación se presentan algunos factores que suelen contribuir al bajo nivel de motivación en los adolescentes:
Cambios biológicos. El comienzo de la pubertad y los cambios que se registran en el cuerpo, suelen ser un factor de angustia, preocupación, distracción.
Preocupaciones emotivas. A las inseguridades físicas se suma otro tipo de preocupaciones, como por ejemplo el no pertenecer al grupo «popular» de la escuela.
El ambiente escolar. Un adolescente puede perder la motivación cuando pasa de la escuela primaria a la secundaria: puede sentirse perdido en la nueva escuela o sobrecargado con la mayor cantidad de trabajo escolar.
Percepción de las capacidades. Cuando los jóvenes entran en la adolescencia, a veces comienzan a creer que la capacidad intelectual es fija. Comparan su capacidad con la de otros y se sienten disminuidos. A veces creen que si tienen que esforzarse mucho, es porque tienen menos capacidad. Esta perspectiva suele ser desalentadora: ¿para qué esforzarse demasiado si el esfuerzo no les ayuda a mejorar?
Falta de oportunidades. Algunos jóvenes carecen de oportunidades de participar en actividades extraescolares que fomenten su entusiasmo. Es importante buscar en las escuelas, en los centros comunales propuestas accesibles de actividades para los adolescentes.
Baja de atención. Algunos profesores observan que es muy difícil conseguir que los estudiantes se concentren en un proyecto escolar cuando están acostumbrados a programas de televisión y otras presentaciones que son rápidas, cortas y requieren de un bajo nivel de atención.
Sucede que los adolescentes deben aprender -y descubrir- que el éxito en la escuela requiere de tiempo y esfuerzo. Son muchas las cosas que compiten por la atención de los jóvenes quienes, muchas veces, esperan que la escuela y sus actividades sean siempre emocionantes.
En casa podemos alentar y dar oportunidades a nuestro hijo, enseñarle que los altos logros académicos generalmente exigen un verdadero esfuerzo; que en la escuela -y en la vida- pueden aprender -crecer y disfrutar- mediante actividades que no siempre son pura diversión.
II. A continiuación se ofrecen algunas sugerencias para fomentar la motivación en los adolescentes:
Dar un buen ejemplo. Los adolescentes aprenden mucho al ver a sus padres cumplir con su trabajo y sus obligaciones.
Enseñarles a ponerse metas y a trabajar para alcanzarlas. Ayude a su hijo a comprender el valor de enfrentar los desafíos y a descubrir la satisfacción que produce superarlos.
Ofrecerles la oportunidad de realizar actividades extraescolares. Los adolescentes necesitan tener oportunidades para desarrollar sus talentos. Quizás su hijo necesite algunas sugerencias para comenzar un nuevo proyecto: pregúntele si le interesa realizar un curso de inglés, una clase de arte o practicar algún deporte.
Alentarlos con elogios. Felicite a su hijo cuando ha hecho bien una actividad; la tarea escolar por ejemplo.
Detectar y desarrollar sus puntos fuertes. Todos tenemos alguna capacidad especial en alguna área. Identifique qué es lo que su hijo sabe hacer mejor, en qué tiene más habilidad y motívelo a que la desarrolle.
Establecer comunicación con la escuela. Comuníquese con los maestros, los tutores escolares o el director de la escuela cuando sea necesario.
Fijar metas, objetivos realistas. Cuando se les pide a los jóvenes que logren lo imposible, dejan de esforzarse. No presione a su hijo a participar en actividades que no quiere realizar (aunque a usted pueda parecerle maravillosa).
Y es ésta una de las claves. Su hijo es otra persona: con sus gustos, habilidades e inquietudes. Déjelo desarrollarse; es decir: a la hora de estimular, fortalezca los intereses que él presenta, no los que usted considere que debería desarrollar.
As the child grows up, the worldview and needs of the child change, what motivated to study in elementary school may stop working by the middle school. To motivate a teenager to learn, a new strategy is needed. In this article, we will talk about five types of human motivation and give practical advice on how to apply them in school life.
If a child enjoyed studying in primary school, and with the transition to secondary school, his interest in learning began to decline, this can happen for many reasons. Perhaps the effect of novelty has disappeared, or the excitement of learning has been replaced by new hobbies.
A junior high school student is motivated to learn by the very process of obtaining new knowledge — it is enough to make it exciting. It is more important for a teenager to prove to the world that he is no longer a child, to gain the respect of his peers and the recognition of his elders.
The desire for self-realization can be a good basis for motivating teenagers to study. Explain to him that being an adult means taking responsibility and making decisions, and taking your studies seriously will be the best way to prove your worth to the environment. Such motivation for learning activities, as well as a competent system of encouragement and constructive criticism, will help form a more mature attitude towards learning in a teenager, realize the importance of self-education and understand why learning is necessary for him personally.
In order to study successfully, it is important for a teenager to be aware of the practical benefits of the acquired knowledge: how they will be useful in life, help realize a dream, affect his social status, and so on.
In order to choose the right method of educational motivation for a teenager, it is necessary to find out what exactly attracts him in the educational process and adjust this process taking into account his needs.
By analogy with the labor relations of adults, five types of motivation for the educational activity of adolescents can be distinguished. Let’s consider each of them.
There are teenagers who do not stop burning with one idea for many years or constantly invent new aspirations for themselves. They are romantics and dreamers with extraordinary imagination. «Ideators» often take on large-scale projects, but encountering difficulties along the way, they can quit in the middle and get carried away with something else.
How to motivate: In order for the «ideologist» to find the strength to overcome obstacles and continue to go towards his dream, he needs support. Even if your child’s idea doesn’t seem worthwhile to you, don’t criticize it. Remember that many great people grew out of dreamers. Show your child that you sincerely believe in him and help him find an environment that shares his interests: let him feel that he is not alone. And then he will be able to overcome all difficulties and not lose his enthusiasm.
If your teenager is a pronounced extrovert and likes to be in the center of attention, then the most important thing for him is to be needed and accepted. This can be used as a method of learning motivation. The approval of others causes pride and a desire for new achievements in such teenagers, however, they are easily influenced by the environment.
How to motivate: for the sake of public approval, a teenager is ready for a lot. Therefore, for successful study, he needs to be in an environment for which knowledge and a developed intellect are a value and a reason for respect. In addition, to stimulate the desire to learn, the «social worker» must be praised for success, and best of all in public.
To be the first, to be the best — the motivation of this type of teenagers is formed due to ambitions. The difficulty of achieving the goal only increases interest. Having overcome one milestone, they are already looking at the next. You might think that if a teenager is focused on achievement, then there should not be any particular difficulties with motivation. However, not everything is so simple: any major failure can be a fatal blow for the «leader».
How to motivate : Firstly, the «achiever» needs the right guidelines. A teenager should understand that the first place at the regional Olympiad opens up new prospects for him, and getting all the achievements in a computer game will hardly help him succeed in life. Second, let your teen feel that you appreciate them regardless of their success. Explain that there is nothing wrong with single failures. In addition, such adolescents need to develop empathy and arouse interest in other people. Then they can acquire valuable leadership qualities and not turn into selfish careerists.
Some people are focused on achieving results, while others are fascinated by the process itself. If the «performer» clearly knows what is required of him and what the next step will be, then the work will cause him satisfaction. «Performers» are distinguished by good perseverance and patience, however, the educational motivation of such adolescents often cannot withstand a collision with even minor difficulties that new educational material brings.
How to motivate: for successful study, the “performer” needs control. Regularly take an interest in his successes and encourage them, and in case of failures do not criticize too harshly, but help find a solution and support his efforts. You should not try to force the «performer» into a «leader». It is better to use his strengths: to encourage diligence, diligence and attention to detail. This will help him study well and become a master of his craft in the future.
For this type of teenagers, it is fundamentally important what benefits education will bring. They consider the educational process as work, for the conscientious performance of which they expect to receive material benefits. People with this type of motivation know the value of their efforts and time, which will allow them to find a decent job. However, it is necessary to form in them the correct ideas about values - material and not only.
How to motivate: for a «businessman» the system of external motivation is ideal. He is ready to work hard, knowing that there is a prize waiting for him at the end. Therefore, for success, he should be encouraged with gifts and, possibly, even money. However, it is important to do this consistently: discuss in advance what specific result you expect from him, and what he will receive for it. And of course, the value of the gift should be proportional to the success. It is important that a teenager develops a correct idea of the value of his work. It is also necessary to educate in him a responsible attitude to property and to develop other aspects of his personality. Interest in the material side of life is commendable, but it should not be the only one.
All the types described above are quite rare in their pure form, as a rule, they coexist in various combinations. In addition, it must be taken into account that with age, the motivation of adolescents may change.
In conclusion, here are some tips that are valid for all motivational types:
There are times when a teenager’s motivation problems are difficult to solve with any of the above methods. In this case, outside help may be required. At Foxford Home School, this task is performed by tutors — they can help to explore the characteristics and interests of a teenager and create an individual educational route for him, set priorities in his studies, find his own development incentives and effectively motivate him to study at home.
Why schoolchildren do not want to study and how to arouse in them an interest in education and self-development? We are talking about this and related problems with the psychologist of the Internet Lesson Home School, Daria Kuznetsova.
Together with Daria Kuznetsova, a conflictologist at the InternetUrok Home School, we find out how to motivate a child to learn and develop themselves. How to act correctly so as not to spoil the relationship, but to help.
Practicing psychologist-conflictologist. She has 12 years of experience working with children with various psychophysiological developmental characteristics.
Corr.: The child is not interested in school. Sections, circles and travel are not interesting. He wants nothing. Maximum — computer games. What to do? Why is this happening?
Daria : Practice shows that he still wants something. That’s how the psyche works. You need to pay attention to this and understand what it is.
Daria : In most cases, avoidant behavior is caused by relationships within the family. Starting from the age of twelve, adolescents turn on separation (separation) from their parents. Before that, the child wanted the same as the mother. Now the search for oneself begins: “The wishes of the parents are understandable and, perhaps, correct. But what do I want? Who am I? Am I already an adult or still small? The psyche is not yet developed, there is no clear understanding of what exactly is interesting and why. This is a delicate moment where patience is needed. Because if you pass it on with moralizing and suggestions, then, having begun denial with details, the teenager will begin to refuse everything. There is a rude “mom, leave me alone” in his head, which he may not voice in plain text. After all, the parents continue to feed him and provide. To say simply that your desires are worthless and he is not interested is “not comme il faut.”
It must be understood that if a child lives in a position of denial or “not wanting anything” for more than six months, then he is wasting precious time. However, if the choice is right, if it matches the interests of the teenager’s inclinations, then he will make up for everything. Due to the peculiarities of development, parental initiatives are devalued at this moment. Best position: «Sit down. Think. Decide. Here’s the internet for you. You can play with toys, or you can go and try to live a real life.” Freedom of choice will help you quickly understand yourself.
Corr.: But if the position “mom, leave me alone” is nevertheless voiced in plain text, and the denial of everything and everything and the unwillingness to engage in inadmissibly dragged on? How to equalize the situation?
Daria : You need to carefully understand the root causes. Most likely, such a child once already came to his mother with proposals. For example: «I want to cut dogs.» One thought, how many problems such an occupation can bring, caused a stormy protest, and the reasons were not explained. It was: «No, you will not cut the dogs.» A month later, from a fourteen-year-old daughter: “Maybe I’ll go do strip plastic?”. Mom has cold sweat on her back and another refusal. The third time with a similar question, the child may still come, but the fourth will not be for sure. Next, you will get a denial.
This is where the parent’s best bet is to gently admit the wrongness of their harsh rejection, then talk and discuss the pros and cons. Go through the child’s wishes again to see if they were really a whim. «Do what you want, and I will support you!». The child is still small now, and he, in fact, is afraid to make difficult choices alone. Even to cut dogs, he would go with his mother. His aggression may be an indication that he is still waiting for support.
Corr.: There have always been problems of adolescence. Why is denial and avoidant behavior present in many adolescents right now?
Daria : The functions of school education used to be wider. This included professional orientation and the distribution of social accents. This was not always unambiguously positive — too much depended on the personality of the teacher, but the pressure on the child was to a large extent not the parents, but the society.
Reasonable parents in this case are present next to the student as good advisers and support, and not in the form of a supervisor or judge.
Nothing prevents us from creating a situation for this even now. It is enough to provide the child with communication in different communities: circles, sections, forums (offline and online). In this case, he will have before his eyes different examples of life situations and their decisions. Parents, brothers and sisters, and friends and comrades in hobbies will help here. These can be heroes known from videos, or those with whom the teenager knows personally or by correspondence. Now we have access to any information, there are many opportunities to determine what exactly suits the child.
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Corr.: But if there is too much information? Will this be a reason for denial and loss of interest in the environment?
Daria : Yes, there are often problems with the choice due to the large variety. Constantly processing new information, the brain gets tired and transfers its state to the body. Total tension leads to clouding of consciousness. It turns out a kind of psychological fast food. You got the information, but there is no sense from it.
This is also related to the difficulty of choosing the type of future activity for the student. If earlier there were understandable, well-defined forms of activity and corresponding professions — a cook, a doctor, an economist, a designer, an engineer, an actor — now their range has become much wider. It seems that you are interested in this or that area, but then it turns out that you need to immediately orient yourself with a specific sub-area. What kind of designer do you want to be? Interiors, furniture or clothing? Websites or ads? Or even cakes? Or do you want to blog about design in general and write more about it? Each sub-area requires additional knowledge and skills.
And not all professions have the meaning that was originally invested in them. And it is not clear what will happen to some in five years. Will it exist in years to come, or will a robot successfully handle such a job? And some professions may appear, although they are currently absent.
Opening the program of study in the same psychology, I see the profession of «space psychologist». It involves working with people who fly into space. It is difficult to determine in adolescence that you want to do just that. And when a person does not go anywhere, there is a high probability that it is simply difficult for him to make a choice.
Exercise to restore motivation to study:
- If there is too much information and it is difficult to make a choice, make a list of what interests you.
- Choose for yourself three, maximum four points of interest. This is easy to do, even if there are ten of them. Write each on a sheet of A4.
- Spread the sheets around the room and stand on each for five to seven minutes. Feel yourself in a profession with which your interests are inextricably linked. This is where a flight of fancy comes in handy.
- Presenting yourself in the profession will definitely give an emotional response. Try to understand it. If, standing still, you understand that interest is growing and you want to try, then this is a good sign. If after a minute of standing you get bored, then this is hardly the right choice.
Daria : Very often a person who joins a community of interest in social networks hears all the time how wonderful everything is there. There is a feeling that the chef always looks great and makes good money doing simple work. And the fitness trainer gets continuous pleasure at all, doing only health promotion and honing the figure. Traveling brings only joyful emotions and opportunities to contemplate the accompanying beauty. And an IT specialist is welcomed with open arms in any large company, regardless of the depth of his immersion in the subject.
There is no critical perception and understanding of the degree of responsibility and the cost of a mistake at this age. As a result, a teenager, starting to do one thing or another, faces unplanned difficulties. And after going through this several times, he gets a lot of complexes and unwillingness to try something new.
Here you need to be attentive to your own emotions. Perhaps the protest was caused by a subjective, not entirely truthful presentation of information. The activity itself is still interesting. You need to learn to see the essence behind emotions and feel your own spiritual response. It’s important to try and answer honestly the question, «Do I still like it?»
Corr.: But this is better than the large-scale negativity and hopelessness present in social networks and the media.
Daria : It’s even worse if a schoolboy listens to everything every day in his apartment too. If in his environment someone loudly and constantly «drips on the brain» that, for example, «in this country there is no chance of success.» The listener will form the same position because the speaker is older and knows better.
A rare child will dare to protest in this case. The teenage desire to live subconsciously will resist the pessimistic opinion that deprives him of prospects in life. But it will be difficult for such a student to fully devote himself to study.
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Daria : Parents are still the first example. And if the mother is a coach, then the child is likely to be fond of sports. And if a mother says that her work is bad and that it is better to go to study as a doctor, then a contradiction arises. She still continues to work as a coach and bring home money. There is an impression that they are trying to push him off the knurled track, and the unknown gives rise to fear.
Very contagious and passive, inactive state. If parents are in a decadent mood and do not see the point in their studies, but refuse to change anything, then where does the desire for self-improvement come from in a young head?
That is, the main recommendation for parents who want to increase their child’s educational motivation for learning is to start with yourself. Your experience will tell you what knowledge is missing, what skills it would be nice to acquire. Try to master them. Your authority will grow in children’s eyes, and calls for self-improvement will become justified and productive. In addition, experimentation and the search for new experiences will be the norm in the family. And going to study as a doctor instead of an understandable career as a sports coach will not be so scary.
Yes, and the realization that choosing a profession is not the final, not a sentence, and later you can learn something else, always inspires optimism. Choices made at seventeen are rarely perfect. It is important to realize that you may not have found the best profession for yourself on the first try, but you have enriched yourself with useful experience.
How they cope with failures in the family is also important. If the triplet received at school becomes a tragedy for the mother, the cause of tears, worries and many days of discussion, then there is no doubt that the child will adopt this manner of interaction. Each time difficulties arise, instead of additional motivation, he will experience stress and discouragement. It is clear that it is difficult to get to victory in such a state. If the mother takes the situation lightly and offers to extract useful experience from it, then this has a positive effect on the child.
Corr.: It is believed that unnecessary victories leave fatigue…
Daria : This is called “depreciation”. It is also instilled by parents: “Ah, what kind of victory is this?” But the meaning of even a small victory is that inspiration comes with it. This is a positive resource that charges a person for success. There is confidence that a person can do everything. It is important to realize victory. It needs to be kept as a trophy, and when a really difficult situation arises, it helps. Rejoice in your child’s victories. This helps build motivation.
Corr.: Many parents find it productive to motivate their children to learn with money. Getting a five, the child earns money for entertainment. How do you feel about this practice?
Daria : The only bad motivation is money. Successful and rich people become those who like the profession and who are ready to work a lot, not only because of the salary. Our activity should also be an emotional resource. And if you don’t like the job, and the motivation is purely financial, then problems usually arise. One day you realize that you are stuck in an uninteresting job with uninteresting people. In the worst case, it is reflected in health.
Corr.: Given that the problems of adolescence have always existed to a greater or lesser extent, maybe there is a universal remedy for dealing with them?
Daria : To deal with them, you need to pay attention to the root causes of their occurrence. Although learning continues throughout life, there is a «best time» for the productive development of certain abilities. Negative experiences or lack of proper stimulation at certain points in life have more serious and long-term consequences than we think.
From three to about nine years old, the part of the brain responsible for the ability to fantasize actively develops in a person. And from about eleven to seventeen, thinking and logic are formed. The ability to think logically, process information and build chains into perspective. That is, there is an understanding of the consequences of the actions taken. Over the next five to seven years, socially significant mental functions are formed, the information base is growing, and there is a surge in social activity. Abstract thinking, risk assessment and self-control appear.
Due to the fact that teenagers have no real knowledge and ideas about the world, they tend to be in fantasies. Transitional age is the moment when you need to combine fantasy and reality. And their collision is very painful. The ability to accept the world as it is without running away into fiction is valuable. Accordingly, one must learn to think and assume, to build a perspective from what is in hand, in circulation, in the environment. And for this, you first need to learn to feel yourself “here and now”, without running away into a fictional reality. A series of simple exercises will help with this.
We are “here and now”. Psychological practices
1. Addressing oneself, paying attention to oneself . The task is to sit on a chair for five minutes and “feel” this process: how you lean on the chair, how it holds you. Pay attention to the surroundings, how the clock is ticking and how mom walks in the next room. Perhaps there are other sounds that you usually don’t pay attention to. Just be fully aware of yourself in real time.
2. Reality observation . The easiest way to see it is through people, each person has his own emotions, everyone is busy with something. Pay attention to those passing by, to the emotions of those who are nearby. This is how the monitoring system for the surrounding world is born. It is important to do this without judgment. Without trying to build a plan. The plan is a fantasy.
3. Sports training helps . The inability to be «here and now» is characterized by a large number of accidental bruises, cuts and bruises. However, any sport increases concentration on the current moment, which means it returns to reality.
4. Fit fantasy into reality . Being in fantasy is nice. It drags on. So that fantasizing does not seem like a waste of time, and even more so if you are the owner of interesting fantasies, try to fit them into reality. Give them precise definitions and expression in drawings and drawings, texts. Write a plan to realize your fantasies.
Teen motivation is a team game.
On the one hand, it is difficult for everyone: both the child and the mother, because the parent at this time lives his adult life, in which one must also maintain motivation.