Motivation of children with low socio-economic status

Vignette #15


I am working in a school in an inner city. I grew up in a rural community and only came to the city to train as a teacher. The community and families I work with are very different to the way that I was brought up; they just don’t seem to value education at all. They arrive late, sometimes don’t come to school at all, don’t wear appropriate clothing to class and never seem to pay attention in class.


I just don’t know how to motivate them to learn in my classroom. How do I get them to pay attention and learn so they can pass their examinations at the end of the year?


  • Talk to other staff in the school to find out if they are experiencing the same professional challenges. (tool 9)
  • Ask to observe a colleague’s class to see how they work with the pupils and follow up with a conversation. (tool 4)
  • Talk to the pupils about what it is like to live in the community, what their experiences of school are like and what their ambitions for after school. (tool 13)
  • Talk to the parents to find out what the community is like to live in, what their school experience was like and what their ambitions are for their children. (tool 8)
  • Improve the learning activities of the pupil with support of other pupils, e.g. by working with Cool-groups: 2 to 3 students work online together when doing homework or preparing for a class test. (tool 12)
  • Classroom leadership questionnaire (tool 3 and 3a)