More time off leads to better motivated children, says German study

 

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A new study of German school students stresses the importance of children having enough break times and chances to relax and reflect, for their motivation and well-being.

For experts in children’s well-being it may come as no surprise, but there can never be enough evidence of the fact that children need sufficient free time for themselves to find motivation for any kind of learning, especially at school.

“We need more time in which we can relax and reflect upon ourselves”, says Michaela Brohm-Badry, who is a Professor for Empiric Education Studies at the University of Trier. In her study with over 1000 pupils from both elementary and high schools in Trier she demonstrates that pupils were most motivated when they had a high level of self reflection.

“Schools should allow their pupils enough time to reflect upon themselves as well as upon the tasks they are supposed to do” is one of the conclusions of Professor Brohm-Badry’s study, and, as explains, it is important for the pupils that the school strengthens five areas of well-being:

1) positive emotions such as hope, gratitude and warmth;

2) engagement in the subjects of their study;

3) positive relations that are sustaining and energising;

4) understanding of the rationale for their study: why are we doing this and what does this support in bigger picture?; and, last but not least,

5) feelings of success and achievement: that their activities have results.

 


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