Importance

It is important for a child to be motivated, whether it is intrinsically or extrinsically, for a variety of reasons. For example, if a child is motivated to read then they are more likely to have a higher reading achievement level. Children who have a difficult time reading are usually less motivated to read. When we are able to find subjects that interest these struggling readers, we are more likely to get them motivated to read. When these children become motivated they are more likely to overcome other obstacles they may face such as poor educational background, low income, and unsupportive parents. So, once a child becomes motivated they are likely to read more, the more they read the higher their reading achievement is likely to be.

It is important to understand that a person’s motivation can change depending on the task. A child who is highly motivated in reading may have very little motivation in math. We can estimate the amount of effort a child will put into tasks based on the belief they will succeed and the value of what they will gain when the task is complete. So if a student is unmotivated in math they will likely put little effort towards completing assignments related to the subject if they have convinced themselves they will not do well and if they are not concerned with the outcome of failing the task. We call this the Expectancy x Value Theory.

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