Student Motivation And Retention Essay

3664 words - 15 pages

Student Motivation and Retention

I decided to write most of paper about motivation because motivation is something that is lacking in several of my students in Junction City. I want to help students develop the motivation to learn math instead of hearing the bad attitude they have developed for mathematics. It is so frustrating to hear a student say that they do not care. Also in my paper, I plan to intertwine the topic of retention. My paper will lean more towards retaining students in math at the middle school level rather than college like the articles we read in class. I know that students can not switch out of math in the middle school, but they can choose to take many math classes in high school and choose a major in college for math. In other words, I want to find out ways for students to be interested in math field so they continue in the math field all the way up through college graduation. I have developed several great relationships with my students and care deeply about what the future holds for them. My goal is to make a difference in their life by motivating them to like math and school so they do not drop out of high school.

II. Background

As I researched for articles dealing with motivation, the most common information that I found was strategies for increasing motivation. Some of the articles showed actual studies where certain strategies helped the student want to learn. The “Intrigue Model” by Lewkowicz is one strategy example that I will be writing about. Another article I found explained different types of motivation, which motivation is the best to have, and factors that influences the development of student motivation. Robert Case wrote a paper about a study he did in an India high school watching for where their motivation comes from. I even found an article where school leaders play a big role in helping generate student motivation. Only one article I found discussed high school dropouts and the reasons for dropping out.

From the articles in class, I will talk about three of them that relate to retention. Treisman’s article showed how a math workshop could make a huge difference in the retention of math students at the college level. This workshop can be related to a middle or high school setting. Malcolm’s article gave several useful strategies that help students succeed. She also helps point out some of the down falls to Treisman’s workshop. Lastly, I will talk about Seymour and Hewitt’s article, which gave an overview of why people may leave the science, engineering or mathematics majors.

III. Precis

Have you ever heard a parent complain that their pre-schooler is unmotivated? Probably not. At a young age, curiosity develops a motivation to want to learn, but the sad fact is that motivation for learning frequently seems to shrink. A child’s home environment is the place where the attitudes develop towards learning. Parents need to encourage this curiosity to know the world around them by...

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