Motivating learners is one of the major challenges teachers face on a daily basis. Conceptualised as learners’ energy and drive to engage, learn, work effectively, and achieve their potential at school, motivation and engagement play a large role in learners’ interest and enjoyment of school.
Understandably, both also play huge roles in academic achievement. Consequently, those learners who are motivated by and engaged in learning tend to perform considerably higher academically and are better- behaved than unmotivated and un-engaged peers.
Learner engagement, described as the tendency to be behaviourally, emotionally, and cognitively involved in academic activities, is a key construct for motivating learners. Compared to less engaged peers, engaged learners demonstrate more effort, experience more positive emotions and pay more attention in the classroom. Cognisant of the nature of learner motivation and engagement, the Director-General of Basic Education, Mr HM Mweli began his visits to Winter Schools on 23 June 2018 with the intention to present a motivational talk to huge numbers of Grade 12 learners and their tutors, as learners gear up for the forthcoming National Senior Certificate Examinations.
The key motivational messages delivered by the Director-General can be summarised in three points:
- Listen to your teachers;
- Do what the teachers advise you to do; and
- Work hard
Teachers’ advice and a chain of positive thoughts are catalysts that will spark extra-ordinary results. If one has a positive attitude and constantly strives to give his/her best effort, eventually he/she will overcome his/her immediate problems and find he/she is ready for greater challenges.
The Winter School Programme is the largest learner support intervention in the education sector. While the size and scope of the winter school programmes differ across all provinces, all the programmes have a common purpose which is geared towards improving learner performance. Mr Mweli intends to visit more than 50 centres in June and July 2018.