Essential Motivation in the Classroom

Essential Motivation in the Classroom

Essential Motivation in the Classroom

Essential Motivation in the Classroom


Essential Motivation in the Classroom is the definitive one-stop guide for teachers who want to know how to motivate children - and how children learn to motivate themselves. In this rollercoaster ride through the theories of teaching, learning and thinking, Ian Gilbert highlights the 'seven keys' of motivation, offering a range of strategies, ideas and insights to help learners become motivated from within. An entertaining and inspiring read, this book is full of useful, practical advice, ranging from motivational research from leading theorists to philosophical gems from Homer Simpson. Teachers in all sectors of education will find this book indispensable, helping them to change the culture of their classrooms and improve the effectiveness of their teaching.


Everything has been said already but as no-one listens one must always start again.

André Gide

You are a great teacher. You know it. Your colleagues know it, although of course they do not let on - professional jealousy and all that. Your line manager knows it. Even the parents know it. Why, then, do your students not know it? They sit there like puddings, passive and inert, while you show how great a teacher you are with your pyrotechnic displays of knowledge and wit. If only they were better motivated, they would appreciate how good you really are and results would really start to rocket.

Motivation is one of the most used words in teaching today, usually in the phrase, ‘How can I motivate these kids?’ It is also a very misunderstood process. Even that question alone reveals that we are approaching motivation from the wrong angle. Carrot and stick may work if you want a classroom full of donkeys, but real motivation comes from within. Napoleon may have learned that men will die for ribbons but his successes were short-lived.

One of the Harvard Business Reviews most requested articles is one first published in 1968 by Professor Frederick Herzberg, entitled ‘One more time - how do you motivate employees’. Here the professor talks about KITA - ‘Kick In The Ass’ - motivation. It gets the job done but does not lead to better motivated employees. He describes how in the training of his one-year-old Schnauzer puppy, when it was little, if he kicked it, it would move - ‘push motivation’. After . . .

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