Seeds of motivtion
Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life – Mark Twain
School is primarily an institute that provides motivation and reinforcement to its student’s needs and potential. We all need motivation ‘to move’ in our lives, to achieve higher level of self actualization. Motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic. Today the role of educators has changed and evolved as a catalyst. They must lead, advocate and collaborate in order to cause systemic change and encourage the success of all students. We all collectively take responsibility to work with students on academic, career, personal and social domains of their lives. Unfortunately, all students are not the same or equal considering their differing abilities, experiences and performances. Every child is born unique, with extraordinary capacities and intelligence. They can achieve wonders by following their passion in any field of their choice.
There is a profound need of understanding individual differences, diversified learning patterns and functional adjustment in a classroom setting. All children are not born scholars; on the contrary, they bring laurels and acclamations for their community by participating in various co curricular activities. Children should not be rejected, ignored and neglected due to academic failure nor does it mean the end of the road as many parents think. We should keep looking for other abilities in the child.
Howard Gardner, a renowned psychologist has proposed the concept of multiple intelligences.
1. Verbal-linguistic intelligence (well-developed verbal skills and sensitivity to the sounds, meanings and rhythms of words)
2. Logical-mathematical intelligence (ability to think conceptually and abstractly, and capacity to discern logical and numerical patterns)
3. Spatial-visual intelligence (capacity to think in images and pictures, to visualize accurately and abstractly)
4. Bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence (ability to control one’s body movements and to handle objects skilfully)
5. Musical intelligences (ability to produce and appreciate rhythm, pitch and timber)
6. Interpersonal intelligence (capacity to detect and respond appropriately to the moods, motivation and desires of others)
7. Intrapersonal (capacity to be self-aware and in tune with inner feelings, values, beliefs and thinking processes)
8. Naturalist intelligence (ability to recognize and categorize plants, animals and other objects in nature)
Instruction must be designed to help students to develop their strengths that can also trigger their confidence to develop areas in which they are not strong. Students’ multiple learning preferences can be addressed when instruction includes a range of meaningful and appropriate methods, activities and assessments. Educators should not follow one specific theory or educational innovation when designing instruction but instead employ customized goals and values appropriate to their teaching and student needs. Addressing the multiple intelligences and potential of students can help instructors personalize their instruction and methods of assessment.
A child may be good at any of these areas and if identified and given attention instead of being labelled as low achiever, he may be celebrated as a good sportsman, musician, artist, stage entertainer or a public relations officer. All these areas do play a vital role in cultivating various life skills like optimism, tolerance, team spirit, resilience, time management, perseverance, self control, leadership, concentration, increased attention span, dedication and commitment.
Today many youngsters want themselves to be acknowledged as future Sachin Tendulkars, Michael Jordans and Amir Khans. So let us shift the paradigm from conservative traditional thinking of prioritizing academics only and highlight the strengths in the student. Students are like unpolished stars, which come in varied sizes and shapes. It is a good teacher who polishes them to bring out the best in them and lend a helping hand for their all round development. So it is imperative to focus on human potential that lies in the fact that people have a unique blend of capabilities and skills (intelligences). Let us encourage our children to achieve their higher potential and self actualization.
Shilpa Chawla is a post graduate in Psychology, D.Ed (autism), B.Ed in learning disability and holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Guidance, Counselling and Rehabilitation Psychology. She believes in playing a role of a catalyst in students’ lives by building a positive and holistic relationship with them.
At present she is working in CRPF Public School, Rohini, New Delhi, as Counsellor and Special Educator.