Motivation and the Four Forms of Relevancy: Podcast Episode 358

Feb 01, 2023 | Posted by the IEW Blog Team

Are there factors that make learning easier? As Andrew notes, “If something is relevant to you, if it is significant, meaningful, useful, interesting, and helpful to you, then it is easy to study and learn.” This week Andrew and Julie discuss the four forms of relevancy: intrinsic, inspired, contrived, and enforced. Andrew and Julie dive into these ideas and share how they can be used to help both students and teachers.

Intrinsic relevancy, that thing that is interesting because it is, is the highest form of relevancy. All children have something they are naturally interested in. Although we do not necessarily know where that interest comes from, we can capitalize on it. Our
theme-based writing lessons allow you to choose a theme that will pique your students’ interests.

The second form of relevancy, inspired relevancy, is also effective. Even if children do not have an intrinsic interest in something, they can still be inspired to learn about it if someone they respect has a genuine interest in it. Enthusiasm is contagious. Not enthusiastic about chemistry? Perhaps you can find someone passionate about chemistry who will inspire your student to finish the course!

If your students are not naturally interested in a subject and no one can convince them to become interested, a game will likely motivate them. With contrived relevancy, we can create motivational systems or games to encourage students to study and learn. For example, students can win a cash prize for first, second, or third place in IEW’s annual writing contest! To top it off, each participant wins a small prize, and the winning essays are published in Magnum Opus Magazine. You can find a variety of writing contests on our website here.

The last and least effective form of relevancy is enforced relevancy. For example, “You have to take biology, or you won’t graduate from high school.” No real lasting learning is likely to occur with this tactic. While graduating from high school is important to students, they will only do what they have to do to pass. Unfortunately, most of us can recall taking a class, doing the homework, and passing the tests only to forget it all shortly after.

Listen in as Andrew and Julie share numerous examples of and insight into the four forms of relevancy. Practicing these strategies in your teaching is sure to produce results!


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