Motivational Factors for Learning

Let’s chat a bit about motivational factors.

What are some benefits of learning together as a community?

What do you like about active natural learning like this?

Research points to at least four key, underlying conditions that release inner motivation. All four together inspire adults to become lifelong life-learners. The interconnection of all four accelerates learning in adults (“Enhancing Adult Motivation to Learn” by Wlodkoski).

RELEVANCE: Demonstrating value by relating learning to life:

A desire to find meaning is fundamental to humanity. Adult learners in particular dislike busywork. Adults need to know the reason for learning something. So relate learning to life.

First, create thoughtful and challenging learning experiences within the group. These tap into the rich perspectives, exquisite variety, and deep-seated values of adult learners. In such an environment, meaning-making roams about promiscuously as the source of surprising new births.

Second, this fluid learning community stimulates personal, relevant responses. These propel learning out of the formal classroom into significant arenas of our real-life experiences. Connecting truth with daily life strongly motivates adult learners.

JOY & FUN: Nurturing positive attitudes towards learning:

Our attitude predisposes us in a certain direction, positively or negatively. Many western Christians have negative past experiences with learning. Rather than a stodgy study, let’s flip our attitudes. Introduce an almost playful sense of joy and expectancy. Yes, Bible study can be fun!

With this belief, learners will make the indispensable choices to put out full effort. This leads to active buy-in and ownership, which in turn is a key to learning. Communicate unqualified acceptance. Convey your strong belief in their capacity as lifelong life-learners designed in the image of the Trinity.

BELONGING: Connecting with each other accelerates growth:

Create an environment in which both the learners and teachers feel respected and connected to one another. This develops a relaxed, stimulating place to learn. Cooperation is the norm for learning since we are social beings with a strong need to belong. We mutually accept one another as a community of learners, as encircling partners. We care as much about the learning of our peers as we do about our own learning.

Perhaps on the horizontal plane, nothing is quite as powerful as a sense of belonging. This fluid, playful, inclusive collaboration with one another develops a different relationship with discovery. This frees us to tell our 1st-person story. Sharing enhances retention, opens up rich possibilities for relevant action, and maximizes growth as we become influence-able influencers.

COMPETENCE: Experiencing growing competence in skills, values, and/or character powerfully motivates learning:

As image-bearers, God created us to rule. To explore, perceive, evaluate, think about and change our surroundings like a thermostat to promote positive effects. We want to matter! Growing competence taps into our God-given yearning to count, to experience significance. Learning something valued is the single most powerful motivation for adult learners.

For a free downloadable PDF for this with expanded thoughts.

Return to “I Have a Dream” page.