Waldorf Student Motivation

Today we wanted to share some links to great articles about student motivation research and tactics. This information is not just important for teachers, but also for parents who must motivate their kids to stay on task with homework and household contributions. All the articles deal with the idea of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The take-away?  Those who intrinsically motivate (achieving for internal reasons and not external rewards) are happier, smarter and better equipped for learning and life.

Waldorf educators follow many guidelines for fostering intrinsic motivation, which are referenced in the studies and articles below.  Practices include:

  • – De-emphasizing grades
  • – Bringing real-life value to topics (think learning fractions by cutting delicious pizza)
  • – Supporting and challenging (without overwhelming) students
  • – Fostering / respecting individual learning styles
  • – Helping students experience autonomy in the classroom


Check out these articles providing more in depth information:

  • This Article from The Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching takes a thorough look at advantages and disadvantages of fostering each type of motivation and then looks at motivation’s effects on learning style and teaching strategy.
  • This Article from Education Week Author and Teacher Larry Ferlazzo highlights six in-depth writings on specific motivation topics such as helping students develop self control and good learning habits.
  • This Article from the On the Cutting Edge Education Resources website gives an overview of motivation styles and a list of tactics for engaging students.
  • This Article in Business Psychology is a research study done on the effects of motivating employees and the results ring just as true for students.



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