The importance of motivation & self-esteem in children’s learning

Teachers' Voices Episode 3

Join educational researcher Nina Alonso for this podcast series as she shares powerful stories from teachers around the world, talking in their own words about their own experiences.

In this episode of Teachers’ Voices*, Nina talks to Eddie Brummelman, a researcher studying children’s growing understanding of themselves as individuals, how children develop self-views, how these self-views shape mental health and educational outcomes, and how interventions that target self-views can help at-risk children flourish.

“Self esteem shapes how children look at themselves, but also how they look at their social environment.”

We then hear from three teachers, from three different geographies, teaching three different age groups a variety of subjects. Despite these difference, these educators all have in common a special interest in developing motivation strategies that pay attention to individual needs.

First we travel to the Caribbean and meet Kayleigh, who teaches Spanish as a second language to young primary school children.

“In my classroom, my students are constantly speaking, they have avenues to share their opinions, we’ve created a space where they feel okay to share. We’ve also created an environment where our ideas and opinions, although different, are respected.”

We then travel across the world to Australia and meet Mark, who’s developing teenagers’ capacities to learn from their peers through experiential learning with film making techniques.

Finally we visit Marisa, an English teacher in a private school in a wealthy residential area of Madrid, Spain, who is setting the necessary conditions to support the development of each student’s particular identity in their learning processes.

“Part of the teaching process is to observe your students and to figure out what they need in each moment. For me, that is one of the most rewarding moments in my teaching life.”

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*This episode has some discussion around bulimia and mental health issues. Listener discretion is advised. 

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