Weekly Digest #78: How to Motivate Children to Learn

Weekly Digest #78: How to Motivate Children to Learn

We sometimes get asked about how to improve the motivation to learn in students. As cognitive psychologists, we know a lot about learning strategies and ways to increase learning performance. However, motivation falls into a different research discipline: Our colleagues in educational psychology know all about motivation. Motivation to learn is a key for self-regulated studying and in today’s digest we put together some resources that explain determinants for study motivation in young children.


1.       Teach Your Child to Love Learning: Keys to Kids’ Motivation by Eileen Kennedy-Moore, @psychauthormom

The most influential theory on motivation was proposed by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan. The looked at factors that would increase people’s intrinsic motivation – motivation that comes from within the person because the person really wants to do something. In this post, the author outlines ways to build this intrinsic motivation based on the model by Deci and Ryan. Another post that uses the same motivation model to describe Strategies for Helping Students Motivate Themselves the same model is one by Larry Ferlazzo (@Larryferlazzo).

Image from Pixabay

Image from Pixabay

2.       Six Ways To Motivate Students To Learn by Annie Murphy Paul, @anniemurphypaul

In this post, Annie Murphy Paul briefly describes six human aspects of motivation that can be used as starting point for creating learning settings that trigger study motivation in children. One of the points (point 4) is one of the six learning strategies, namely concrete examples.


3.       Fostering Motivation in Kids with Learning and Attention Problems by Great Schools, @GreatSchool

Here the focus is more on children with attention deficits. Plus, it is written from a parents’ perspective. Thus, what can parents do to help struggling children to enjoy learning more and to overcome frustrations.

Image from Pixabay

Image from Pixabay

4.        ‘He’s Not Motivated’: How Can We Strengthen a Child’s Effort and Motivation to Learn by Kenneth Barish, @kbarish280

This post focuses more on the emotional aspects of motivation and points out factors that can help increase study motivation. One of the points mentions Carol Dweck’s mindset theory and we have written a digest about this controversial theory a while ago; see here.


5.       How to Motivate Children Through Purpose by Kate Roberts, @DrKateParenting  

What can parents do to boost their child’s motivation to learn? Four tips are given in this post with the main point being: Give learning a purpose.

Every Sunday, we pick a theme and provide a curated list of links. If you have a theme suggestion, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Occasionally we publish a guest digest, and If you'd like to propose a guest digest click here. Our 5 most recent digests can be found here:

Weekly Digest #73: Concrete Examples in the Classroom

Weekly Digest #74: Social Media Addiction

Weekly Digest #75: Classroom Management - Teaching Students Appropriate Behavior and Building Relationships

Weekly Digest #76: YouTube Channels to Help you Study

Weekly Digest #77: Cell Phones in the Classroom