Blogger Widgets Ender-Chan's Thoughts: (Original Theory) Learning Motivations

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

(Original Theory) Learning Motivations

"Study without desire spoils the memory and it retains nothing that it takes in." Leonardo DaVinci

Learning styles are a helpful tool to get to know how to teach someone, but learning styles fall short when it comes to the "why" of learning: Why am I sitting here in this classroom learning for this subject I may or may not care much for? What makes my effort in exerting myself mentally worthwhile? Rewards are not effective unless they are catered to the person's motivations.

Some people learn best for status that may come in the form of a grade, rank, or other designation. They enjoy having tangible evidence of their hard work condensed into an award or a number and saying "I earned that." Status learners often do things to say they did them. Learning for its own sake does not interest the status-motivated. They want to see themselves as having achieved something tangible and outdone others. Status learners first and foremost learn to achieve.

Altruist learners learn to help others. They typically possess a strong desire to assist others their endeavors and are charitable types. If the course material at hand is presented as having no value in providing assistance to others, the altruist learner will struggle to see the point of learning it. Generally, altruist learners have large-scale visions of assisting others. Take advantage of this vision in order to assist in learning the skills presented.

Learning for its own sake is a foreign concept to many people, but not so to the process learner. Process learners learn to take things apart and fit them back together in both a literal and figurative sense. They generally enjoy exploration of interconnecting ideas and coming up with a variety of interpretations. Process learners tend to want to learn something completely, to explore every facet and factor and every interconnection and get frustrated when they have to learn just to get something.

You know those students who always talk too much? They are probably social learners. They learn to learn about others. Subjects with no interpersonal matter pain social learners and leave them bored and frustrated. Social learners love learning about other people and imagining interactions with them in a variety of settings. Even in impersonal subjects, social learners end up humanizing concepts to make them more tangible and appealing to others and themselves.

Complaining about how a subject has no application in real life is usually the mark of a pragmatic learner. A pragmatic learner learns to prepare for everyday--and not so everyday--situations that arise as life is lived. They generally avoid extra work in areas that have no practical application unless they plan to make a career of the field. Pragmatic learners learn for life; often, their predominant strength is the application of skills.

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