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People differ by nature, not only in their ability to perform a specific task but also in their

will to do so. There are people with less ability but because of their strong will and desire to
do something are able to perform better than their counterparts with superior ability and lack
of will. The will to work hard in any sphere of life is very crucial as it is the only solution to
success. This belief was underscored by Albert Einstein when he said that genius is 10
percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration. This will is known as motivation (Viteles &
Morris 1953).
Motivation is a dynamic force setting a person into motion or action. The word motivation is
derived from motive. Motive is defined as an active form of desire, craving or need that must
be satisfied (Wikipedia, 2015). It is imperative to understand that all motives are directed
towards goals. As new needs and goals get into someones mind or life, the behaviour and
actions immediately change causing an individual to focus in the direction of achieving the
new needs and goals. For example, if a pupil at careers day realises that he or she would like
to become a medical doctor and that becoming a medical doctor requires someone to score
high grades in mathematics and science, such a pupil from that day onwards will work hard
in mathematics and sciences to achieve the goal of becoming a medical doctor. Viteles and
Morris (1953) define motivation as a representation of an unsatisfied need which creates a
state of tension or disequilibrium, causing the individual to move in a goal directed pattern
towards restoring a state of equilibrium by satisfying the need.
Motivated people are in a constant state of tension. This tension is only relieved by drives
towards an activity and outcome that is meant to reduce or relieve such tension. The greater
the tension, the more activity will be needed to bring about relief and hence higher the
motivation. The basic motivation process is depicted in the diagram below
Unsatisfied Need

Tension or disequilibrium

Action, Movement & Behaviour

The basic motivation process

Goal Equilibrium

Feedback, possible, modification of unsatisfied

Motivation as seen in the diagram above has to do with a sense of need. This need creates a
sense of urgency in achieving something expected. According to Vrooms expectancy model
of motivation, people expect to get results or rewards for their good performance. This model
is based upon the belief that motivation is determined by the nature of reward people expect
to get as a result of their job performance. Looking at Vrooms expectancy model, one can
deduce that the underlying assumption is that a person is a rational being and will only try to
maximize his perceived of such rewards. A person will choose an alternative that would give
the most benefit. Therefore, it is very important to understand that people are highly
motivated if they believe that certain type of behaviour will lead to a certain outcome and
their extent of personal preference for that outcome.
Education Implication of the expectancy theory
Mostly, people in our societies go to school with an aim of passing all the exams and finally
graduate and get a good job. However, using the expectancy theory other learners get
demotivated when they see people with very good results languishing in the compounds. Our
societies are full of graduates who ended up in entrepreneurship after failing to get a job.
Others have spent years in school and ended up getting a low paying job. We always hear
villagers condemning getting educated to a level of a teacher or nurse because there is no
much difference in income levels between the villagers in farming and teachers or nurses. As
such, some learners after analysing such results obtained after years of learning, have either
abandoned school, or performed poorly in school due to having such thoughts after
perceiving a non-profitable result from others who went through the same route.
In addition to the first point, learners themselves get discouraged if they continuously keep
getting poor grades even after putting so much effort. Although this situation is rare in well
organised learning environments especially in developed countries where standardized
equipment is engaged in the process of teaching, in our underdeveloped countries it is
common. An example would be a pupil who develops hatred against computers because the
teacher who was teaching computers to that pupil lacked materials and subsequently despite
putting so much effort to get a good grade the pupil failed the exam.
Furthermore, teachers who are in the forefront of delivering information to learners perform
poorly if their expectations in life are not met. We have heard and read in papers concerning
some institutions such as our neighbour across the road. Students at Livingstone Institute of

Business and Engineering Studies (LIBES) rioted after being told by discouraged lecturers
(who were not being paid their monthly wages) to abandon classes and riot. These lecturers
got demotivated because their expected monthly income was not coming forth and finally
resorted to a strike which caused serious panic among students. The University of Zambia
and Copperbelt University had a similar incident though with these the case was to do with
the students not receiving their meal allowances and resorting to a riotous behaviour. In all
incidents, it is seen that a human being resorts to other forms of behaviour if their expected
results are not met as planned or expected.
How teachers should motivate learners using the expectancy theory
Teachers must encourage students to work hard for them to get good results. There is a slogan
that says there is no sweet without sweat implying that only by working hard can one
obtain good results. Teachers as pioneers should teach students easier ways of achieving their
desired goals without any form of discouragement. Therefore teachers must be in the
forefront sharing the good side of education so that learners get motivated.
Secondly, the expectance theory is probabilistic in nature. This means that despite the egos
and beliefs that whenever you work hard you definitely achieve what you want; at times
things can get different. Learners must be told that Rome was not built in one day meaning
should one fail to pass an exam today despite putting so much effort, there is always another
time. They must know that learning is a process and it requires continuous promotion all the
Transparency is another important aspect that goes along with motivation. Teachers must not
show favouritism to various learners as this may discourage others. Let there be no time when
hard working and well deserving learners be punished or substituted by failures in the name
of relationships or any form of favour. Some teachers in many institutions get into
relationships with students especially male to female relationships which causes hard
working students get discourage as they see themselves failing to get the expected good
grades due to biased teachers.
Furthermore, it is the duty of teachers to display a good behaviour which can be emulated by
the pupils. Teachers play a very big role in nurturing young people as they are the ones given
the custodian to look after the children of their friends in society. Just a simple mistake
conducted by a teacher in front of pupils can bring up a very big problem to the pupils. As

role models therefore teachers should be encouraged and advised to dress modestly, talk
wisely and behave normal all the time. Bear drinking, questionable relationships with pupils
and unruly behaviour towards workmates should not be exhibited among teachers.
In conclusion, it is worth to state that a human being is always expectant in life. We always
aim to achieve the best. Pupils enrol in schools with an expectation that one day they will
graduate and get a good job. For that reason, teachers should be at the helm of promoting
pupils education so that they achieve their objectives. Teachers should be motivation
speakers to pupils and encourage them to work hard always.

Pinder & Craig, 1984. Work motivation. 1st ed. s.l.:Scott Foresman.
Viteles & S, M., 1953. Motivation and Moral in the Industry. s.l.:WW Norton.
Wikipedea, 2015. Motivation process. [Online]
Available at:
[Accessed 25 March 2015].