Clinical Psychologists Merve Minkari Tunçay and Nilay Uğurlu Öztürk, coordinators of Psychological Development and Counselling Center (PDCC), Izmir University of Economics (IUE) held a “Reaching Success through Intrinsic Motivation” titled seminar for 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students. Tunçay and Öztürk made recommendations about avoiding course and exam load, and drew attention to report card anxiety.
The “Reaching Success through Intrinsic Motivation” titled seminar for 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students addressed the anxiety experienced by students, who are getting ready for both university entrance exams and studying for their courses at school. Clinical Psychologists Merve Minkari Tunçay and Nilay Uğurlu Öztürk, coordinators of IUE Psychological Development and Counselling Center stated that the report card should not be used against students in semester break. Tunçay said, “Sometimes students do not want to study, it may be a general unwillingness issue. Making their own choices would raise their motivation. This would help them take action. Being told by someone else about how much and how long to study might decrease motivation. At this point, it is very important to realize how realistic and achievable the goals are. Instead of saying ‘I will read 2 books this month’, saying, ‘I will read for an hour today’ is more effective. Efficient time management and planning are very important for being successful. It is okay to take short breaks when studying. These should be relaxing activities rather than distracting. For example, listening to a song you like might be beneficial. It is also important to stay away from smart phones while studying. Even looking at a single message on the phone may result in hours lost.” Öztürk said, “Sometimes, what we see as an obligation might turn out to be an opportunity for us. When we see learning English as a great opportunity to pave the way rather than a necessity, we discover the key point to being successful. Each individual has unique talents and study methods that suit them the best. Students need to make a self-assessment without comparing themselves to others. Parents have a major responsibility here. Comparing your child to others, may de-motivate them. Another important issue is to be able to ask for help. Admitting that we need help with anything or being able to help someone who is in need of help also makes us feel good about ourselves. We may give small awards to ourselves when we reach our goals. Doing things we like, gives us comfort before we start studying next time.”
Report Card Pressure Results in Demotivation
Tunçay, who indicated that the report card does not reflect the entire success or failure of a student, said, “Parents should evaluate the grades stated in the report card without comparing to others’. They should support their children on their weaknesses and support their children to improve.” Öztürk stressed that it might be a good opportunity to come together as a family and assess the situation. She said, “The family may decide about what to do for next semester. Remember that each child is unique. Has different talents. If a child has trouble on a subject, a thorough evaluation might be better. Report card should not be used against students. Punishments, blames, psychological violence bring undesired results. Approaching with love and support, would help the child overcome these problems.”