Cultivating intrinsic motivation for learning technology : a teacher's self-study.
Magubane, Sifiso Eric.
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The purpose of this self-study was to explore how I as a teacher could cultivate intrinsic motivation among my learners so as to make learning Technology more enjoyable and interesting for them. I was concerned because learners in my school seemed demotivated. I used self-determination theory (SDT) and Ubuntu as theoretical perspectives to guide me. The use of a shield metaphor helped me to bring these two theoretical perspectives together. I was the main participant in the study. The other participants were 33 Grade 9 learners and three critical friends (fellow Master of Education students), two of my former high school friends, as well as my Facebook friends. In generating data, I employed the methods of: memory-work self-study; developmental portfolio self-study; and arts-based self-study. I used memory-work to re-examine and reflect on motivational and demotivational events that occurred in my life as a learner. To access significant memories, I used: storytelling; memory drawing; artefact retrieval; poetry writing and journal writing. Through memory-work, I identified five key themes: a) buoyancy; b) challenges and emotional scars; c) self-esteem; d) appreciation; and e) friendship, communion and community support. From these themes, I drew lessons for cultivating intrinsic motivation for learning. To follow, I built on principles of SDT and Ubuntu to develop alternative teaching strategies for cultivating intrinsic motivation among my learners. The use of multiple strategies of teaching and including game elements and fun in the teaching and learning process helped to enhance learners‟ motivation. Furthermore, through collage-making and oral presentations, I encouraged learners to express their feelings about what motivated them and what demotivated them. I categorised their responses into motivators: a) feeding; b) learning computers; c) sports; and d) caring teachers and demotivators: a) no smile from teachers and corporal punishment; and b) weapons, drugs and teenage pregnancy. Self-study enabled me to re-examine my past and present personal and professional experiences. I had a chance to learn from my personal history and there was also a healing process that took place within me. Engaging in self-study gave me a chance to consider how and why I respond the way I do to certain situations that I face as a teacher. I have learned that providing care and support for learners is central to intrinsic motivation, especially when learners experience many demotivating factors in their daily lives.