The study of student motivation and engagement has uncovered a great deal about the particular habits and traits of those learners who are more likely to succeed. Listed here are the 8 of these habits which appear to be the best predictors.
1. Effort: If you don’t put the work in, you’re not going to get much out. Those learners who literally put in the hours beyond the classroom, reap higher rewards.
2. Engagement: Staying focused and on-task. Not getting distracted by things that are going on around you of by disruptive peers.
3. Skill development: Just like playing the guitar or becoming an expert batsman, you need to develop your skills as a learner. This might include note-taking, essay writing or honing your listening skills.
4. Participation: Being involved in what’s going on in class. Ask and answer questions and help others who might be struggling. Being fully involved in what’s going on is an important part of the learning process.
6. Self-concept: How you see yourself as a learner. A positive self-concept is positively correlated with achievement. However, self-concept needs to be realistic and goals achievable – over-estimation can be an equally damaging as under-estimation.
8. Enjoyment of learning: Not seeing learning as something you a forced to do, but rather something that can be enjoyable and personally fulfilling. Although some will use the term ‘Enjoyment of School’ I would argue that school isn’t necessarily a prerequisite for success (after all, many successful learners don’t go to school). I’m reminded of a year 12 pupil who (after completing her AS exams) once commented that she couldn’t wait to start the A2 work, ‘I know it sounds sad,” she said, ‘I just love learning’.