To be able to study (i.e., to be intelligent) is very important for your success in school, however, it is not everything. There are students who have an average intellectual level and just by striving and putting the effort end up getting good grades.
To want to study (i.e., to have motivation or will power) is as important, or even more, than intelligence itself in order to achieve good grades. Motivation, understood as a cause that moves or impels us to study, has been part of a research study carried out with students of the Senior Cycle of the E. G. B. in Zaragoza (Bachelor Thesis. Ramo Garcia, Arturo. Valencia, October 1977). This study distinguishes between internal and external motivation. Internal or personal motivation is the one that is born out of the student, who wants to do something and has the natural will power to do so. External or foreign motivation is the one that is not derived from within the student but from other people (parents, siblings, teachers, peers) and surrounding circumstances.
Among internal or personal motivation we can distinguish between the one that refers to one’s professional interests (like, getting a good job and continuing to study), one’s personal interests (such as, liking what you study, having personal satisfaction) and one’s school interests (like, learning more, getting good grades, improving) .These internal motivations are very common among the students that achieve high results.
External or foreign motivation is often found in the family (for example, to satisfy one’s parents, because they scold or punish), in school (by not failing exams, by knowing the answer in class) and in social environments (for example, during summer vacations, or being smart). All of these are common among students who have a low performance. This can suggest that these external motivations do not help students and harm their school performance. In other words, in order for results to be satisfactory it has to be the student who primarily wants to study with personal, professional or academic interest. Born out of the student, he or she will put forth the effort that studying naturally requires. If this personal or internal motivation does not exist or if it is negative (i.e., having an explicit rejection towards studying) the efforts of parents, teachers and colleagues in order to help the student by using all means (such as tips, punishments, brawls, emotional rewards, etc.), will not be enough. Other stimuli from society meant to incentivize students to study will also be insufficient.
Arturo Ramo García
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