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How Can We Encourage ‘Unmotivated’ Students?


How Can We Encourage ‘Unmotivated’ Students? is the new “question-of-the-week” at my Education Week Teacher column.

Feel free to offer your suggestions there or here in the comments….


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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Give them choice! When students have a choice, there is more buy-in, and they are more likely to be motivated to complete a task.

  2. It’s helpful to first understand the source of their lack of motivation. Is it a self-efficacy issue, for example, or is it that the work is too easy? Whatever the source is will help teachers determine whether to scaffold more purposefully or amp up for learners who need the stimulation.

    Additionally, having an undeniably clear connection to real-world problems, issues, or to the self also helps. This entails an analysis of the learners, based on age, general likes/dislikes, and so on. : >

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