Monday, 10 April 2017

Hi Everyone, I have recently finished teaching a group of students in higher education and have been reflecting a lot about recent events. Working towards their exam class, which was taught and practised over a six-week period, they asked me if they could have a” fun and cosy class”, as some thought this would motivate them towards their exam. This in turn, has me reflecting and thinking about my role as a” motivator” at this level. Teaching at recreational level I will often alter my class either by changing the music (swapping classical for pop music), allowing them to swap their uniform for colourful dance clothes, bring a friend day, etc. The list is endless as we know, but should the role as motivators to our pupils and students stop at a certain point? At a higher level of education is their motivation not intrinsic? Are they not there because they want to enter the profession? I think back to my education, and of the tedious repetition of doing syllabus class day in day out for years, yet on a” low” period, we all had to find ways of motivating ourselves. Has education and society changed, so we now have more responsibility to motivate our students even when they are adults? With more focus on students taking responsibility for their own learning and becoming autonomous learners, I would presume that self-motivation is an element of this. Providing a safe learning environment is the responsibility of the educators, but surely the students to need to accept a certain amount of responsibility? I have no objection dropping a technique class for something else that day, but should a” cosy” class motivate them towards their exam? I would think that an exam is a motivating factor.

I would love to hear any opinions on this subject as it has me a little perplexed and questioning what is my role as a teacher at this level.


  1. Hi! This is a very interesting post and turns around my research inquiry: "Student's ownership of the learning". I have done a lot of reading and I feel that there is a strong connection between "students' taking more responsibility for their own learning" and "students' feeling empowered because they feel ownership of their body and movement". So, maybe it is not a question about how to motivate your students but about how to help them feel empowered. But then, how do you achieve that? I'm almost sure a "cosy" class is not going to help. I think if a student asks for a "cosy" class, he is not looking for motivation but for distraction. Maybe not consciously... but in a way this could mean that the student is not fully aware of the fact that he owns his body and consequently his learning and achievements. He doesn't know what his body needs in order to progress. He needs to learn this in order to be self-motivated, automatically...

  2. Thank you for sharing this post, I think it is a very interesting area in the learning process. This is related to my inquiry. As a belly dance teacher, I have realized that, the recreation is very important, because the students are under the pressure especially during the examination period. My opinion that, the question is not how can the "cosy class help? I think that, the qustion is why do they need that? If there is demand to do "cosy" class, then we should provide it.
    I belive that, Firstly, we are human and we know, what we need. Secondly, the progression is not a straight line rather than a a permanent zigzag.
    Thirdly, It is good to remind ourself, why we love dancing and just forget about the pressure at least for a class.