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Motivation and styles of learning have been proven to affect success in school However each individual brings her or his own strengths weaknesses preferences gender and learning style to the classroom In this light this essay will discuss the many factors that influence motivation and accommodate different learning styles A co-operative learning strategy can be used to emphasise co-operation rather than competition in learning This strategy involves joint participation by all members of a group in achieving a learning goal where each member contributes to the learning process Santrock 1998 In recent years studies have found that co-operative learning is associated with enhanced student outcomes including increase in self-esteem better academic performance friendships among classmates and improved interethnic perceptions Santrock 1998 Another technique the Jigsaw Classroom has also been successful in changing the setting of classrooms without changing curriculum from unequal competition to co-operation among equals This technique accomplishes this goal by breaking students up into five groups consisting of six students each where each group is as equal as possible in ethnic composition and achievement level Parts of a lesson are given to each member of the group wherein each group member puts the pieces of the lesson together Next the individual studies hisher own part alone After returning to the group each member teaches hisher part to the group Lastly everybody is tested and scored individually at a later time In addition to co-operative learning techniques other factors can influence the life of the adolescent student The leading cause of dropouts is linked to school-related economic family-related peer-related and personal reasons Studies have shown that high school dropout rates are associated with low-income families male unless the female is pregnant ethnic minorities and urban environments In addition high school dropouts have more disciplinary problems lower rates of homework completion lower self-esteem lower educational expectations and an externalised sense of control Santrock 1998 It appears that in order to reduce dropout rates and improve
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