Motivation is an important part of self-regulation. Studying something that doesn't capture your interest or seems totally useless is very challenging. Low motivation affects the amount of focus, time, and effort you'll spend on the task or challenge that is waiting for you.
Contrary to what many people think, learners can increase their interest levels.
The following Spanish teacher will show you how she tackled students' low interest in a reading and in a math class.
Why do you think reading is important?
In Spain, a female teacher in her class of Spanish language (1st grade) asked her students to answer to the question “why do you think reading is important?”.
It was an interesting exercise as it facilitated talking more explicitly about the important role of interest in learning.
Yet, the teacher felt that the 'value of learning how to read' was quite easy to understand.
So she decided to let students reflect on the role of interest in a context that was more challenging.
Why should we be able to measure things with our body?
In a second task, the teacher asked her students about the importance of “learning how to measure things with the body”. In her opinion, asking about the interest of the task was more appropriate this time, because for her students (and even for her), it made this content more attractive and funny. Measuring with the body (feet, hand, steps…) was usually perceived as something useless, so it was good to wonder how it can be used. In this case, children accompanied their words with a drawing.