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Engaging and Motivating Learners
• To identify practical approaches to
teaching and tutoring to engage
and motivate learners
• Awareness of a range of classroom or workshop
management techniques to improve motivation
and teaching and learning
• Understanding of how to work with individuals to
• Understanding of the use of motivational
Being an assertive teacher
“A teacher’s response has crucial
consequences … it creates a climate of
compliance or defiance, a mood of
contentment or contention, a desire to
make amends or to take revenge.”
Classroom or workshop management
• Please complete the questionnaire
answering YES or NO.
• We will return to the questionnaire and the
action points at the end of this session.
Teaching styles and learner
High expectations for learner behaviour
Assertive Style Authoritarian
High sensitivity to
Low sensitivity to
Low expectations for learner behaviour
Ground rules for life
• Play fair
• Don’t hit
• Remember to flush
• Hold hands in traffic
• Tidy up after your own mess
• Put things back where you found them
• Don’t take things that aren’t yours
• Say sorry when you hurt someone
Ground rules of behaviour
unacceptable to STAFF
expectations of STAFF
• Ground rules should be discussed by the teaching team and then by the learner
• Areas of common agreement form the ground rules.
• Have them typed or written up as a poster.
• Some ground rules are non-negotiable.
• This is an important exercise in social problem-solving. (Kohn, 1996)
A cycle of classroom management
Bill Rogers (1998) produced this framework of key principles for
successful classroom management.
Prevention (of disruptive
Encouragement (of positive behaviour –
correcting as necessary)
Repair and rebuild (the relationship
Consequences (for unacceptable
behaviour – certainty rather than
Work in four groups, each group taking one of the areas of the cycle above.
Each group will develop strategies for their area of the cycle.
Write up the strategies on a flip chart and report back.
• Teach and establish rights, rules and
• Have a major focus on positive relationships
• Build rituals and routines for starting and
ending lessons and for gaining attention.
• Consider learner states and styles – play to
their strengths – differentiate.
• Develop scanning – intervene early and
• Create a relaxed, peaceful environment.
• Have high expectations of all learners.
• Achieve a 6:1 ratio of encouragement :
• Use verbal and non-verbal
• Give clear instructions, positive feedback
and set realistic targets.
• Frequently ask yourself: “Why would
learners want to return to my class?”
• Discuss when establishing ground rules
• Should be fair, reasonable and related to
• Emphasise they are in direct response to
• Certainty rather than severity
• Offer some negotiation and opportunity to
make restitution where appropriate
Repair and rebuild
• Correction can erode relationships and
• It’s our job to develop and manage
positive working relationships.
• A simple acknowledgement of improved
behaviour is often enough.
• A friendly and courteous word as learners
leave goes a long way.
• Learners are the most important visitors on our
premises – think of them as guests.
• We are dependent on them.
• They are our core business.
• Always acknowledge their presence – smile,
make eye contact, say hello, talk to them, make
them laugh, offer help and advice where
• Treat learners as you would like to be treated.
Aristotle in the Nicomachean Ethics
“Anyone can be angry – that is
easy. But to be angry with the
right person, to the right
degree, at the right time, for the
right purpose, and in the right
way – this is not easy.”
Anger: four questions
• Is anger the same as aggression?
• Is there anger without aggression?
• Is there aggression without anger?
• How do you deal with your anger?
Work on anger-management strategies for
People adopt different response styles depending on the circumstances. It is unlikely that anyone is
wholly one type or another.
When you allow your
boundaries to be invaded; I
lose - you win
standing up for your
rights without violating
the rights of others; I
win - you win
when you invade or attack
boundaries; I win - you
what to say; non-
what to think; how
to integrate these
Model and teach:
• social communication skills
• social interaction skills
• relationship skills.
A sequenced repertoire of strategies
for the management of disruptive
1. Core skills – these are powerful skills, useful in all
2. Low level strategies – these are low key but
3. Medium level strategies – these are direct and
4. High level strategies – consequences for
inappropriate behaviour are applied.
A – ANTECEDENTS events that prompt, precede or
B – BEHAVIOUR the specific actions of an individual
C – CONSEQUENCES subsequent events that make the
behaviour more or less likely to
The model is powerful in that it offers the possibility of
altering behaviour by changing either antecedent or
• Don’t say “don’t”.
• Use “maybe…… and”.
• Use calming tone of voice that conveys respect.
• Emphasise you will hear them out when they have calmed
• Preface your statement with an understanding of their point
of view, then say, “however, I feel …” then say, “and I
suggest” or “and I would like”.
• State your request in positive behavioural terms.
• Repeat your statement up to three times.
• If negative behaviour continues, state the consequence and
emphasise it is their choice.
• Take-up or face-saving time
• Mood matching
• Using calming gestures
• Non-confrontational positioning
• Body buffer zone
• Walking away with an angry person
• Maintaining normal eye contact
Classroom or workshop management
• Return to the questionnaire.
• In view of what we have learnt, identify key
Thinking about learners’ behaviours
In relation to a task, learners may show:
What is motivation?
The probability that a person will enter into
and persist with a process of behaviour
• Advice How to give it? When to give it?
• Barriers Help learners to remove the
obstacles to change.
• Choice Provide it in the face of the
necessity of change.
• Determination Increase their desire to change.
• Empathy Communicate your desire to
• Feedback Provide clear, accurate assessment of
the current situation
• Goals Help THEM to clarify their aims.
• Helping “Active helping” is NOT “enabling”.
A directive, learner-centred style of
interviewing which helps people to
1. identify risks and goals
2. explore ambivalence
3. set targets
4. maintain behaviour change.
Teacher’s task at each stage of
Learner stage Teacher’s motivational task
Pre-awareness Raise doubt: increase the learner’s
perception of risks
Contemplation Tip the balance: evoke reasons to change,
risks of not changing
Decision Help to determine the best course of action
Active change Help to take steps towards change
Maintenance Help to identify and use strategies to
Relapse Help to renew the process
Motivational dialogue skills
• Effective questioning
• Reflective listening
• Using non-verbal communication
• Summarising for change
• Eliciting change talk
• Open questions
• Do not elicit a
• Do not
• Encourage the
learner to talk
• In what way . . .
• How does this . . .
• Tell me about . . .*
• Give me an
example of . . . *
• A form of active
1. checking meaning
2. clarifying meaning
3. building empathy
• Always end reflection
in a down tone of
1. repeating key word or
2. paraphrasing a key
3. reflecting NVC as
NVC: non-verbal communication
Closing the communication loop
• It sounds like you…
• You’re feeling…
• It seems to you that…
• So what you’re saying is…
The pronoun YOU is usually the subject of
Aspects of non-verbal
• Eye contact
• Use of silence
Drawing together what has been said and
presenting it to the learner
• 1. getting the learner
to take stock
• 2. checking or
changing the direction
of the conversation
• 3. bringing other
information into the
• 4. Stalling while you
think of the next step
Don’t make it too long
Ask for approval at the
end, for example;
• Is that about right?
• Is that more or less how
you see things?
• Have I understood you
Summarising for change
One way of changing the learner’s perceptions
• Spend more time on the reasons for change (or the
reasons against staying the same) and less time on
the reasons for not changing.
• Use tone of voice and pace of speech to emphasise
the seriousness and benefits of change.
• Order the summary by putting the argument in
favour of change in the latter part.
• After asking for approval for your summary, ask
“Where do you think you should go from here?”
or “change talk”
Another way of changing the learner’s perceptions
“People are generally better persuaded by
the reasons which they themselves
discovered than by those which have
come into the minds of others.”
Pascal in the 17th
Types of self-motivational statements
1. Statements of problem
2. Expressions of concern
3. Statements of intention to
4. Expressions of optimism