There was a very bright students, named x, from outside Jakarta. She was very fast learner but she was ambitious. Sometime her friends thought that she was annoying because she always came up in front of the class to do what teacher asked, ambitiously. He also did not want to share her knowledge if anybody tried to ask her. But if she asked everyone, she always asked with so many questions, so her friend did not like her.
Why it is happened? Think she is very influenced by intrinsic motivation. I heard from some students, she was from outside Jakarta. In her region the life is pretty hard. So, I think she motivated herself to be succeeding in Jakarta, so she did her best to be succeeding in life. So she did not came back to her region, to feel the hard life anymore.
Unfortunately, her ambitious characteristics made her ignored by other students. I think anyone wanted to be accepted by friends and environment. From the theory of needs that influenced motivation, she just passed the belongingness and love level in deficiency needs. She just proved that she could have been in a self actualization level (growth needs), with passing the part of deficiency needs.
It was so interesting to observe what happened in class. Because everything in classroom is data. In other words, there are so many problems that influence students’ motivation to learn. I hope this cases useful for us to see that there will be so many thing that influence students motivation to learn. So we will not judge.
Based on my observation, I found that most of students have different needs. As we known, there are many needs; the need for self-determination, the need for competence, the need for relatedness, and the need to preserve self-worth. In this case, I just talk about the need to preserve self-worth (or self-esteem, as it is more commonly called) because I just want to talk about self-handicapping of students during teaching and learning process that I saw in class.
Actually, Self-handicapping strategies is to protect their self-worth. As we know, self-worth means an emotional reaction to or an evaluation of the self (Schunk et al, 2008). Covington (1992) said that self- worth theorist suggest that people have an innate need to protect their sense of self-worth and achieve self-acceptance. However, the case about self-handicapping happened in class that I observed.
As I saw, self-handicapping happened when teacher was delivering materials and asking students as the confirmation about their understanding, students who still did not understand just following the teaching and learning process and prefer to hide their problem and be silent person to protect their self-worth.
In my opinion, that case is the challenge for the teacher (also for us as teacher candidate) because if we do not care even one students who do like that it will for them to receive or understand the next topic (As additional information; mathematics is hierarchy, so each of students should understand the previous topic to be able understanding the next topic).
Relate to the case, if we relate it to the theories of The Influence of Goals on Motivation to Learn, we can see that the students who do self-handicapping tends to work avoidance goals, but they pay attention in social goals. The background why I said like that because when I observed and interviewed some students, most of them said that most of students wants to protect their self-worth in front of friends, then they have an empowerment to build network.
When I taught, I found an unique students (called S). In our first meeting, S said that school became the most hated place. I was so surprise and rather afraid when listening to his statement. My master teacher said that he was a weird student in the class. His friends also said like that, he was so weird. Then I ventured to interview him. He said that he realized the condition in his class, he also felt that he was weird. When learning in his group, he rarely discussed with other friends. But when I asked him to explain an answer in front of the class, he did it well.
I am curious what happen with him, then I try to analize this case. After 2 meeting with him, I know that he comes from ‘unhappy’ family and he has a bad memory when he was in primary untill junior high school. He is used to be considered as a weird man by his friends. Bullying happened. And impact from these moments is he became very close and rarely played together with his friends.
I was surprised when he wanted to explain his answer in front of the class. He did it well and his explanation was true. I think that he tried to get attention from his friends by explaining in front of the class. Based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, S is in the social needs level, these include needs for belonging, love, and affection. He needs love from his friends, belong, feels needed, and useful for those. If everything has been met, his confidence will be increase. And he will reach the next level in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, that is Esteem Needs. These include the need for things that reflect on self-esteem, personal worth, social recognition and accomplishment. Then, his needs will be increase to the next level. It runs naturally.
And how can teacher facilitate students’ needs?
In this case, teacher has to pay more attention to S. He really needs it than other friends. But before, teacher tries to explain to the others about the condition such that they are not jealous. Teacher can ask S to be active in the class by explaining in front of the class or ask him to be a group leader (if there is group work). By that position, we hope he can responsible and get more interaction with friends.
When I was do observation in social class, I found some unique problem. I observed a remedial class, 90 % of students had a lower mark in mathematics, so they have to do remedial. In the 30 minutes first, the class effective enough. After that, I saw that they are cheating. Maybe some of us are usual if we hear about cheating in high school test. But, in that time, I saw that there are 3 center of cheating in the classroom. Students walk around and come to that center. Teacher had given them warning, but they ignore it. The classroom situation has not effective. I am very shock to see that. Because, usually if cheating there is some code, or silent. However, in that class, each student can go to the center of the smarter students. Even they ignore their teacher and stay with their cheating.
Based on my opinion, I think that the really problem is about students’ lack of motivation to learn mathematics. They think that mathematics is hard to learn. But, they can’t to try to learn mathematics. It is true, based on my interviewed the teacher, she said that students have low motivation to learn mathematics. She said that, students also more care with the globalization, such as technology. Then, I tried to find the different way to rich students’ motivations. Then, I think the result is very make me happy.
http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/a/hierarchyneeds.htm were retrieved on October 29th, 2011
Nok Yeni Heryaningsih