Motivation to learn can be defined as the degree of cognitive effort invested to achieve educational goals (Li, 2003). It can also be understood as the degree of "seriousness" with which a student attempts to address the commitments and targets school with the purpose of: a) master the knowledge and skills rather than and get away with doing the minimum, b) clearly verify the status of their knowledge rather than try to complete the task independently of being sure that they actually learned something (MacIntyre, 2002).
Marshall (2001) have proposed to distinguish two types of motivation to learn, one that manifests itself as a personality trait and one that manifests itself as a state. In the first sense, the concept refers to a general provision that allows a student to perceive learning as an inherently valuable and satisfactory and therefore to engage in it in order to master the skills and knowledge to be acquired. Steers et al. (2004) suggest that students who habitually engage in learning are more likely to experience activities such as rewarding in itself and to evidence homework or study in a discipline intrinsic taste and pleasure.
Understood as a state, the motivation to teach leads students to engage in classroom activities and strategies required to activate (Tanol et al., 2010) but, as a rule, does not imply that the tasks should be perceived very interesting and rewarding in it. This explains because many students engage in activities which do not experience a pleasure in itself. Tingstrom et al. (2006) speculate that these students tend to live mainly the study with a sense of duty, commitment and responsibility.
The study and understanding of the motivation to learn have been addressed by two different approaches: cognitive-motivational and educational. These approaches are not necessarily antithetical. (Fletcher & Crochiere, 2004)
The cognitive approach
The key to understanding the phenomena related to poor academic performance has often been defined and careful study of cognitive processes. The research has focused, in particular, structure and on how students use knowledge during learning. In this context, there has been a growing interest on the effective use of learning strategies (Wen & Clement, 2003).
The studies were extremely important for the conceptualization of learning processes, but their character of tightly controlled experiments with volunteers and rewarded, with clearly defined tasks posed difficulties of generalization in real learning contexts (Witt & Wheeless, 2001). In this respect it was found for example that, although trained in specific training, the students failed to apply the strategies of homework and knowledge gained in the laboratory. (Levine, 2003)
Researchers have struggled with the question of what would prevent the transfer of knowledge and skills and if the failure was attributable only to factors cognitive in nature. For this reason, it has emerged in recent years the idea that a commitment to education characterized by a desire to understand and master the content, you get to the extent that it establishes a positive relationship between motivational and cognitive variables (Barkley, 2009). The interaction between these variables can facilitate or inhibit the processes of thought and therefore school performance.
A very clear example of the relationship between motivational and cognitive variables in nature was discovered by Ames and colleagues. (Crawford, 2000) These scholars have found that students have two opposing classes of motivation. Some are motivated by a desire to understand and acquire new knowledge and skills and tend to believe that to succeed in school is a matter of commitment and mastery of content. For this type of student learning assumes an intrinsic value that directs behavior toward the acquisition and mastery of knowledge. (Hsu et al., 2007)
It implies planning and commitment to carry out and complete a task with complete success. Other students however, are much more stressed the desire to obtain judgments and No votes, and prove to be the first class. For them learning receives extrinsic value because it is seen as a means of obtaining recognition and reward by teachers and excel among fellow (Dunlap, 2004).
In those in whom the primary motivation prevails, actions are seen more frequently deep processing of learning content, higher levels of metacognitive awareness of persistence in the face of obstacles, satisfaction in what you do, the availability to choose difficult and challenging tasks. (Wen & Clement, 2003) While those in which dominates the second reason, are more frequent actions processing surface of the content, custody rote learning, the tendency to choose easy tasks and avoiding difficult and intellectually challenging tasks (which could undermine that existing capacity), the low persistence in the face of difficulties (Kirk, 2007). It's been suggested that the motivation to learn is the result of the combined and mutually interdependent variables. The planning teaching can not be separated from this conclusion.
The motivational approach to teaching
The educational motivational the challenges and the ideas that the motivation to learn is a personal disposition of the students, against which it is considered difficult take action. Teachers who share this view, because they think they have little control over their students' personalities and conclude that the motivation to learn is neither a goal to be pursued in the process of education or a skill that can enrich their professional skills. This attitude leads to the students the responsibility and the decision to engage in school learning activities. (Wen & Clement, 2003)
Teacher's Professional success
The students therefore have different goals and motivations. Some want to prove something to themselves or others, learn other futuristic in terms of their own careers. Appropriate courses and training can also be completed part-time and anywhere. Professional success with distance learning is becoming increasingly important because the fast pace of the modern labor market, lifelong learning is essential. (Wen & Clement, 2003)
This however is a lot of discipline and motivation required, the latter may originate from different sources. Therefore, a distinction between the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, which are contrary to each other does not, but often closely related. A distinction is therefore intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and these are not seen as opposites, because only from an extrinsic motivation can arise in many cases, an intrinsic motivation. (Hsu et al., 2007)
Under an intrinsic motive refers to the subject matter content inherent in the subject is set to look at this. This means that the relationship between motivation for learning materials to learners. The intrinsically motivated learner learns from interest, joy, desire, so driven to be learned from the course material. (Levine, 2003)
This is achieved through the application of skills and interests, it has a special significance for the design and personal life is likely to resolve personal problems. The prompt character is the most important intrinsic motive; it is caused by the subject that the student feels called upon to deal with the content, even if he has no use of it. (Wen & Clement,6 2003)
This motif can be a pleasing design of the learning environment to make use. Other motives are intrinsic to the urge finishing something, curiosity and thirst for knowledge. The advantage of the intrinsic motivation can be seen in the lower and outer reinforcing their independence. (Levine, 2003)
The extrinsic motive is the exterior motif, which lies outside the relationship of the learner to the learning material, but acts causing or reinforcing the motivation to learn. One can divide this kind of motive yet in financial motives and social motives. Tangible motives are reward and punishment; they are obtained by setting targets that match the skills of the learner. (Hsu et al., 2007)
Each learner success is again a physical motivation, the motivation to continue learning. However, if motivation posed by others, we speak of social motives, such as competition and group spirit. In this case, motivation can arise from the fact that it solves problems together with other learners.
(Fletcher & Crochiere, 2004)
Adults decide for themselves whether and why they learn, their reasons are very varied, except to keep out of dissatisfaction with the current situation, curiosity, new challenges or mental fitness. (Levine, 2003) It is very important for the adult person for whatever reason; he learns to stand behind what their wishes and needs.
To achieve such educational motivation, psychological needs alone are not enough. There are a number of themes, which work together. The motives of adults continue to make, are very diverse and different.
Increase the intrinsic motivation
To build on the individual needs, interests and goals of learners, increase fun and interest or prevent discomfort and disinterest in the students and, ultimately, to the teachers. There are four starting points for teaching situations:
Course contents: The students have the opportunity to choose according to their personal interests focus on material self-determined. (Levine, 2003)
Materials and Media: An aesthetic, original, humorous or provocative design arouses curiosity and enhances the enjoyment of the dispute.