The Influence of Beliefs on Motivation to Learn

Eggen and Kauchak (2010) defined belief as a cognitive idea that we apply in our life without any logical idea to support it. Eggen and Kauchak divide belief into 5 different views; there are belief about future outcomes, belief about intelligence, belief about capability, belief about value, and belief about causes of performance.

Belief about future outcomes is about our expectation to the effort what we are doing now. This belief will motivate students to perform best for their future. They will try to work hard on the examination if they want to expect the higher score. We found out that there is such a linear correlation between expectation and the effort. The more effort student does, the more expectation comes up to their mind toward their works.

Belief about intelligence is also important view that should be teacher’s concern for their students. Intelligence is one of education image. It means that there will be intelligence issue among students that might influence their motivation. There are two views of intelligence, entity and incremental of intelligence. Entity of intelligence stated that inherited is the factor to determine someone’s intelligence (Dweck in Eggen & Kauchak, 2010). For instance, your motivation to learn math is so low when you know that your mother doesn’t perform good in math. Incremental view of intelligence emphasized that the intelligence is an ongoing process that will be change in accordance with our effort (Schunk & Zimmerman in Eggen and Kauchak, 2010). As a teacher, we should know where our students belong to. If they are in entity view, we should give them an understanding that intelligence is not inherited.

Belief about capability is also called self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is the belief that one is capable of accomplishing a specific task (Bandura in Eggen and Kauchak, 2010). There are two kinds of students, students with high low self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is very important for students’ life. They need it to socialize, develop their self and do every works. Eggen and Kauchak (2010) classified four factors that influence self-efficacy. They are past performance, modeling, verbal persuasion and psychological state. Teacher needs to understand the background why students have high and low self-efficacy. It is important to help them succeed in their academic and non-academic life.

Belief about value would be based on rewards, benefits, or advantages (Eggen and Kauchak, 2010). It consists of attainment, utility and cost value. Attainments focused on students’ goal that can made them believe they can do well. Utility stated that the student do something to get rewards. Cost is refers to what students sacrifice if they choose some decisions. This three values will affect students motivation through their belief.

Look at this case carefully:

I am a tenth grade student. Next week, I have to meet with school counselor to discuss about my study program for the next semester in the eleventh grade. My parents recommended me to choose science program in order to prepare my majoring in the university as a doctor.  My father is also a doctor, so that he belief that his gene will influence my passion to learn science. Actually, I have no passion in science. My mathematics, biology, even chemistry and physics test was lower than the average mark. Imagine if I choose doctor, what my medical patient would be, perhaps worse or even die. I have a passion in art. I like painting so much. Unfortunately, my parents do not support me at all. They think that a painter is not as good as being a doctor. Painter has a low salary, the future is not guaranteed for a better life. Meanwhile, I still belief that I am not good at science, but I am good at art. So, I am sure that art will make me success in life. I hope school counselor will help me to choose the program at my eleventh grade.

The case above shows us that the student who has parents with entity view of intelligence has expectation to be to an artist. However, his parents do not support him at all so, the only thing she do is up to the counselor. This is not good for student’s self-efficacy. He knows that he is good in painting but if there is no one support him, his self efficacy will be low and being not motivated anymore to reach his dream. Class teacher in this point should interrupt and tell his parents about what student is best on. Giving the parents an understanding will solve this student’s problem to choose the program.

Again, our role as a teacher is highly very important to support our students.

Vanny ~ Ulfa ~ Daen ~ Shopia

Source: Eggen, P., & Kauchak, D. (2010). Educational Psychology: Windows on Classroom (8th Ed). New Jersey: Pearson Education International.