Six Considerations For Motivating Chemistry Students

Student motivation can only come from within the student, though the teacher can help by:

1. Designing practical, comprehensible chemistry lessons for students: not too hard, not too soft.

2. Recognizing that not all students learn in the same way: vary teaching methods and scaffold, scaffold, scaffold.

3. Referencing everyday life continuously: show students why this matters.

4. Generating haunting conflicts and confusions in the students' minds: through their preconceptions off-balance, enough to cause them to want to investigate further on their own. Piaget calls for developing intrinsic motivation through “generation of a cognitive conflict and equilibration".

5. Demonstrating the wonder scientific phenomena: do experiments with a wow-factor, safely of course.

6. Giving students materials to experiment and build with. Science is messy and exploratory.

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