Monday, May 23, 2011

Knowledge, Competence, and Motivation

As an aspiring teacher, I found the ‘Knowledge, Competence, and Motivation’ section most interesting. In order for anyone to accomplish a task they have to know how, be able, and be motivated to complete the assignment. The individual has to have the cognitive knowledge to be able to assess the incentive, comprehend how to attain it, and evaluate the chances of success. If the individual doesn’t think the task will end in any positive incentives, the task will not be completed. Knowledge refers to the person’s understanding of how to perform the behavior and the goal of that behavior. Competence is the ability to carry out the behavior. Even if the individual possesses the first two traits, the task will not be completed without motivation. Motivation is the reason for doing the behavior.
I am currently observing a 7th grade math class. Every day, the students are given a ‘warm-up’ task that they are supposed to attempt on their own. The teacher motivates the students by reminding them that all their warm-ups count as a grade. The students know the task has to be completed in order to receive credit for the day. The students with the knowledge and skills to complete the task, and know the goal of the assignment, usually complete the task. The students that do not have knowledge of the concept sit and stare at their paper for 10 minutes. No amount of motivation is going to get the students who are not competent in the subject area to complete the task. On the other hand, if the warm-ups did not count towards their grade at all, there would be no motivation and no student would complete the task.

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