The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

The Crossing into the Dark Side of Motivation for Educators and Students and How to Avoid It

George Kokolas, ExpressPublishing/ULS Systems (Greece)


The topic of student motivation is a complex and multifaceted issue widely studied in the field of education. While some forms of motivation can lead to positive outcomes for students, negative consequences can also arise from certain de-motivational practices that most teachers are unaware they may be practising in their classes. This paper aims to examine the "dark side" of motivation, specifically in the context of education, and to provide insights and recommendations for avoiding falling into these pitfalls of demotivation, consciously or unconsciously. The "dark side of motivation" refers to practices or strategies that may initially seem harmless or even non-significant, sometimes seeming part of "generally accepted educational schemes" but can have detrimental consequences for student motivation. These consequences can include decreased intrinsic motivation, well-being, and academic engagement. The author will mention and analyse some of the most frequent pitfalls for teachers, such as the Curse of Knowledge, the Sisyphic Condition, and the identical effects of physical and emotional pain and rewards as demotivators rather than motivators. Finally, this paper will explore the psychological and educational theories that underlie "the dark side of motivation" and will try to offer practical strategies as remedies for promoting positive, student-centred approaches to motivation. By avoiding the questionable practices that can lead to the "dark side of motivation", educators can create a supportive and empowering learning environment that fosters student engagement, well-being, and academic success.


Motivation, demotivation pitfalls



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