Scholarly article on topic 'Schoolchild's Self-esteem as a Factor Influencing Motivation to Learn'

Schoolchild's Self-esteem as a Factor Influencing Motivation to Learn Academic research paper on "Economics and business"

CC BY-NC-ND
0
0
Share paper
OECD Field of science
Keywords
{Self-esteem / Motivation / "Working style" / "Teaching methods"}

Abstract of research paper on Economics and business, author of scientific article — Asta Meškauskienė

Abstract One of the most important reasons influencing motivation of learning is self-esteem. Good results of learning for schoolchildren as well as for their nearest persons reveal the skills. Schoolchildren's self-assessment level correlates with their motivation to learn. That is why a positive assessment becomes a learning interests forming factor. The paper reveals the factors influencing a successful formation of teenagers self-esteem; educator's individual role in the process of education. Schoolchildren's self- esteem depends on teacher's working style and teaching methods. Self-assessment of schoolchildren in the process of learning is apparent, changing and developing. Teacher is an active and important agent in a schoolchild‘s self-assessment process; communicating with a child he evaluates progress, influences initiatives.

Academic research paper on topic "Schoolchild's Self-esteem as a Factor Influencing Motivation to Learn"

Available online at www.sciencedirect.com

SciVerse ScienceDirect PrOCSCliCI

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 83 (2013) 900 - 904 —

2nd World Conference on Educational Technology Researches - WCETR2012

Schoolchild's Self-esteem as a Factor Influencing Motivation to

Asta Meskauskiene*

Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences, Faculty of Education, Studentu st. 39 -310, Vilnius LT-08106, Lithuania

Abstract

One of the most important reasons influencing motivation of learning is self-esteem. Good results of learning for schoolchildren as well as for their nearest persons reveal the skills. Schoolchildren's self-assessment level correlates with their motivation to learn. That is why a positive assessment becomes a learning interests forming factor. The paper reveals the factors influencing a successful formation of teenagers self-esteem; educator's individual role in the process of education. Schoolchildren's self-esteem depends on teacher's working style and teaching methods. Self-assessment of schoolchildren in the process of learning is apparent, changing and developing. Teacher is an active and important agent in a schoolchild's self-assessment process; communicating with a child he evaluates progress, influences initiatives.

©2013The Authors.Publishedby ElsevierLtd.

Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of Prof. Dr. Hafize Keser Ankara University, Turkey Keywords: Self-esteem, motivation, working style, teaching methods;

1. Introduction

Each individual needs self-esteem and regard from the others. The need of self-esteem includes person's competence, self-confidence, achievements, and autonomy. The person needs to know he is respectable, able to solve all the problems. Similarly, the demand of esteem for you includes such aspects as person's status, appreciation, reputation, assessment, acceptance (Maslow, 1970).

One of the most important reasons influencing motivation of learning is self-esteem. Good results of learning for schoolchildren as well as for their nearest persons reveal the skills. Motivation to learn well, as "teachers, parents and/or friends will like me" is also related to self-esteem. In order to be appreciated by friends, teachers and parents, even the schoolchildren who hate learning, attempt to keep with their classmates. Thus, self-esteem is a significant stimulus, motivation to learn. The greatest influence is mostly apparent when factors influencing a schoolchild's self-esteem formation are formed. Thus, internal human powers stimulating teaching motivation and moral behaviour are specially being maintained (constructed). In order to enhance a schoolchild's self -motivation to learn and behave under the moral norms, it is very important to create the conditions, as well as the situations of success

Corresponding Author: Asta Meskauskiene, Tel.: +21 765 3221 E-mail address: dovile.indrasiute@vpu.lt

1877-0428 © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Selection and/or peer-review under responsibility of Prof. Dr. Hafize Keser Ankara University, Turkey doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.06.168

feeling. A schoolchild feeling worthless, as he is not accepted by teachers or contemporaries, is tending to avoid learning, his needs are not satisfied. However, a schoolchild who feels esteem, importance, appreciation is tend to be interested in learning, rather than another who feels alienated and unacknowledged.

* Asta Meskauskiené. Tel.: +370 68682450 E-mail address: asta.meskauskiene@vpu.lt

Schoolchildren are more tend to learn within emotionally safe rather than stressful environment. The teachers are able to create a positive emotional environment by involving various means, such as: optimism, success, content, interest in teaching activities and results, variety of activities, content of education, contact of education characters.

2. Methodology

The qualitative research has been implemented on 2011, the aim of which was to determine the learning factors influencing the formation of a schoolchild's self-esteem. The qualitative research method is applied; thus, reveals more particular response, descriptions and comments of teachers and schoolchildren. The questionnaire is anonymous. The survey involved 9-10 school year schoolchildren from 6 Vilnius city schools and teachers from various Lithuanian schools. The research takes 112 schoolchildren and 86 teachers. The sample of questionnaire survey respondents is objective. The questionnaire involves open, descriptive, causal interrelated questions.

In order to reveal the factors enhancing and derogating a self-esteem, the schoolchildren were asked to tell and describe the situations when they were feeling important, appreciated, venerable as well as situations when they were feeling humiliated, unappreciated. The research also aimed at determining the influence and feelings caused by these situations. The questionnaire survey of teachers contributed in recognizing teaching methods and emotional aspects that are the most significant in the process of formation and consolidation of schoolchild's self-esteem which stimulates a positive learning motivation.

3. Results

Learning motivation, success and achievements depend on schoolchildren's own attitude towards themselves and learning. With reference to the answers of teachers and schoolchildren (see Table 1, Table 2 and Table 3) the essential factors, i.e. teaching methods, peculiarities of teacher's working style, which make influence on schoolchild's self-esteem formation are being introduced.

Table 1. Answers of schoolchildren. The situations enhancing and derogating a self-esteem

Describe the situation when You felt important, appreciated, worthy % Describe the situation when You felt humiliated, unappreciated, unregarded %

Enhancing High academic achievements 27.7 Derogating Learning difficulties, academic failures 23.2

situations Schoolchild's learning progress; commends, 19.6 situations Unacceptance, unappreciation, disregard, 17

encouragement, expectations penalties

Confidence, teacher's expectations 14.3 Negative comments, replications by teachers 13.4

Various personal achievements 8 Sympathy and antipathy from teachers, 10.7

comparison with the other schoolchildren

Feeling as a team member 7.01 Lack of teacher's attention for a schoolchild 8

Schoolchild's help for friends, teachers, 7.01 Tauntings of academic failures by 7.1

parents and etc. schoolchildren

Schoolchild's appreciation by persons 6.3 Disregard, alienation 6.2

especially important for a schoolchild

Assessment of schoolchild's opinion 4.5 Difficulties in activities not related to learning 5.4

Assessment of schoolchild's abilities and 2.7 Taunting 4.5

importance for the others

Schoolchild's leading 1.8 Distrust 2.7

No situations like this 0.9 No situations like this 1.8

Table 2. Answers of schoolchildren. Actions related to situations enhancing and derogating a self-esteem

Actions related to situations enhancing a self-esteem % Actions related to situations derogating a self-esteem %

Motivation to learn 32.1 Passive reaction (take no action), inactivity, 25.9

indifference

Improvement in learning results 18.7 Self disappointment, sadness, moodiness 24.1

Emergence (or increase) of decisiveness, activeness, 16.1 Bad experience, distress 13.4

courage

Emergence (or increase) of intention to go to school 11.6 Anger, aggression 9.8

Positive influence for behaviour (motivation to behave 8 Motivates for positive behaviour, attempts to deny a 8.9

better, better interrelationships, intention to help for the situation derogating self-esteem

others)

Encouraged to seek goals 5.4 Need for help 7.1

Behaviour is more friendly, polite, respectful 4.5 No intention to communicate, disregard 6.3

Partially changed learning and behaviour 2.7 Partially changed learning and behaviour 3.6

No influence 0.9 No influence 0.9

Table 3. Answers of teachers. Teaching methods and social emotional factors enhancing and derogating a self-esteem

Methods enhancing a self-esteem of schoolchildren % Methods derogating a self-esteem of schoolchildren %

Learning in collaboration. Working in groups, discussions 36.1 Teacher as an „informer", absence of dialogue 31.4

Individualization and differentiation of teaching, creative 26.7 Absence of individualization, differentiation 25.6

tasks of individual and group work

Project method 19.8 Too complex, improperly structured tasks 15.1

Individual tasks, individual self-assessment 17.4 Encouragement to "swot up" (learn by heart) 12.8

Inappropriate structure of a working group (no ability for 9.3

expression of schoolchildren)

Tests when a schoolchild is not able to apply his knowledge but 5.8

can predict the answer

Social-emotional aspects (learning environment, teacher's personality)

Compliments 30.2 Continual criticism, disparagement 34.9

Confidence, self-confidence 22.1 Schoolchild's comparison with the others (in front of the class) 24.4

Encouragement to improve 15.1 Negative attitude towards a schoolchild, "pestering", derogation 14

Encouragement, teacher's expectations 10.5 Tauntings, humiliating replications 11.6

Personal acknowledgement for accomplished tasks 9.3 Morals and shamings for schoolchildren 7

(especially public acknowledgement)

Respectful approach 7 Intolerant, autocratic teacher, speaking in a high tone, giving 4.6

commands

Help for a schoolchild 5.8 Having no respect for schoolchild's promise (disregard) 3.5

While revealing successful aspects of learning in groups, teachers (36,1 %) told that schoolchildren are not tend to compete but rather collaborate. In the process of collaboration, i.e. explaining, discussing and giving questions to each other, the schoolchildren are able to develop knowledge structures and skills. This helps to create an individual responsibility which stimulates a positive interdependence. Working in groups also strengthens interrelations of schoolchildren; as well as creativity and communication skills are also being trained. According to Adler (1998), a feeling of group member assists a child in creating „my own self' which is oriented towards a self-assessment, adequacy and competence, also models an attitude towards others. Adler emphasizes a child's self-education of individual feeling in a group „the more a child feels important in a group, the more he trusts his contribution to a group's wellbeing, the more he feels respect for and from the others; hence, the more he is tend to trust him-self ". Teachers (26,7 %) point that teaching individualization and differentiation as well as creative group activities are the teaching methods which influence schoolchild's self-esteem formation. The answers of teachers also reveal that schoolchildren's interest in learning remains for a longer time, when a topic or ability stimulates a schoolchild. Therefore, seeking to individualize and differentiate teaching, the teachers invoke knowledge of schoolchildren, knowledge of teaching style and interesting topics for schoolchildren. One of the most essential, influencing the formation of schoolchild's self-esteem teaching methods mostly prefered by teachers (19,8 %) is project method. The use of project method is teacher's inspired activity which involves the teaching and training objectives which are not perceived by schoolchildren but are well considered by teachers. Project method is an interesting activity for a schoolchild when problem solving involves active creative activities, working in a group. It is important to

mention that a project is not a task which must be made alike. The main idea of a project is a stimulus to act by including a freedom of creativity and alternatives. Therefore, there is a great variety of project activities which corresponds the capabilities and interests of schoolchildren, almost all the schoolchildren are able to perform projects. This method contributes in replacing teaching to learning. While preparing tasks a schoolchild needs to create him-self a system of skills and knowledge. Learning plays a more significant role in a schoolchild's life, motivation to learn is also more evident. Thus, a schoolchild trusts more him-self, is able to express his-self and to reveal the skills.

By integrating the project activities into the lessons, creative and research activities are most often included. Paradigms of interaction and learning are mostly suitable for this activity. As a result, these paradigms are most often suggested to be used while teaching the schoolchildren.

Analyzing the social emotional factors which make influence on schoolchild's self-esteem formation, teachers (30,2 %) as well as schoolchildren (19,6 %) state compliments, encouragement and confidence as the most significant factors. Compliments and encouragement for successful results are a stimulus which motivates learning. Speaking about external influence means, i.e. compliments, penalties and encouragement, Adler (1998) emphasizes a significant role of encouragement. According to Adler (1998), both compliments and penalties only temporarily change the behaviour of an individual; though, these factors do not help in teaching the self-assurance and confidence. The encouragement enhances a courage feeling and confidence even when the support from the others is only partial. Where, compliments for a satisfactory behaviour prompt to trust the others more than your own decisions.

Any type of communication and knowledge transmission is based on confidence. Communication could not be realized or be useful without a forward confidence in each other. The confidence feeling arises from common spontaneous interest and person's intention to implement this interest. Both teachers (22,1 %) and schoolchildren (14,3 %) consider the importance of a confident environment creation in the class. As a result, maintaining interrelations with schoolchildren, a confident environment ensures safety, free communication, no fears to be wounded, disappointed. One of the most important factors determining a confident environment in a group is teacher's personality, behavior, seeking to create confidence, the factors such as: honesty, help, following of rules and promise, must be considered.

The answers of schoolchildren (23,2 %) indicate that they are sensitive to evaluation process and results. Accordingly, while evaluating a schoolchild, teachers must pay attention not only to education goals and principles, content and methods, but also to the influence on learning motivation and self-esteem of valuation. It is considered that auditorial tasks promote not to learn but to „swot up" (i.e. learn by heart) and learn for a better evaluation. Moreover, the evaluation enhances fears, worries, fault and shame feelings, decrease self-esteem.

The requirements for schoolchildren should be oriented towards the achievements, the schoolchildren are already able to. Teachers (17,4 %) suggest a need for schoolchild's self-assessment, i.e. to evaluate, to write a mark for their own tasks, to comment them and only then (or when the schoolchild's self-assessment does not correspond the reality) to evaluate a schoolchild.

Indicating the situations which derogate a self-esteem, schoolchildren (10,7 %) emphasize sympathies and antipathies expressed by teachers as well as comparison with others. The prejudice and stereotypes would not be so significant if the teacher's attitude towards children learning is not so high. Each schoolchild should gain a reversible information based on their achievements, as well as suggestions how to improve, and there should be no comparisons with others (Black and Wiliam, 1998). The schoolchildren are being evaluated not by comparisons to each other but by comparing the earlier achievements. As a result, this attitude emphasizes the importance of a self-esteem and motivation for a successful learning and also reveals that the attention should be paid not to a person but for the accomplished tasks. The self-sufficiency reveals the most important human needs, i.e. free will, ability to make own decisions, free selection. This need is mostly felt by teenagers who are seeking a self-expression, personal development.

Following a frustration - self-esteem model, bad learning and low self-esteem could be considered as the main reasons why the schoolchildren leave the schools. It is predicted that worthlessness, bad results of learning, negative evaluations by teachers, the increase of worries are the risk factors which reveal the features of schoolchildren who

may leave the school in the future (Finn, 1989). The peculiarities of teachers teaching styles and methods could be considered as a part of democratic interrelations as they show self-esteem for the others. Autocratic as well as too liberal teaching methods do not ensure confidence, as these methods do not provide self-esteem for a person. Indulgences are not able to ensure the individual a feeling of order which is essential for a feeling of self-confidence and effective decision making.

4. Conclusions

With regard to teaching methods and teacher's personal influence for the formation of schoolchild's self-esteem, it is apparent that a success of teenager's self-esteem development is determined by an optimal interaction of sociopedagogical factors. The self-esteem feeling is a basis for emergence of moral attitudes, ambition to become moral and behave under the norms of a valuable behaviour. The self-esteem determines seeking a positive moral reputation among the contemporaries, teachers and parents. Self-esteem becomes a significant prerequisite for motivation to learn and social integration. Thus, self-esteem is a prevailing motivation factor, a stimulus for learning. While employing modern teaching methods, the teacher plays a supervisor's, coordinator's role. Therefore, schoolchildren gain miscellaneous, initiated by creative and motivating learning environment, competences which remain for a long time. Teaching methods are also a significant means of pedagogical activities rather than education content itself. There is no universal method which could be employed for each teacher and schoolchildren. In order to seek optimal education goals and objectives the teacher decides the methods to be employed in the process of teaching. When the teacher perceives that the method employed does not contribute in revealing each schoolchild's personality, he needs to employ a new method or to remodel the present model. This depends on teacher's professional skills, pedagogical approach.

References

Adler, A. (1998). Understanding Human Nature. Hazelden Publishers.

Black, P., Wiliam, D. (1998). Assessment and classroom learning. Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice 5 (1).

Finn, I.D. (1989). Withdrawing From School // Review of Educational Reasearh.

Maslow, A.H. (1970). Motivation and personality. 2nd ed. New York: Harper &ow, Publishers.