Motivation is the ‘reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way’ (Oxford Dictionary of English, 2010). As Curriculum for Excellence (CfE) tells us, it is an integral component of both learning and teaching that pupils become successful learners, and confident individuals, where they are motivated and enthusiastic towards their own learning (Scottish Government, 2009). This therefore, allows for opportunities in personal achievement, personalisation and choice. In our group’s initial discussions, it was apparent that all members expressed concerns regarding our young people’s lack of motivation to achieve and to improve their overall performance. As Sutherland, Smith and Mclean (2004) highlight, a motivating classroom has many factors including personal success, encouragement and self-improvement. Thus, as a group, we decided to motivate and challenge our young people in their everyday learning. With a huge movement across Scotland to close the attainment gap in schools it is the intention of this enquiry to analyse the effectiveness of incorporating the ‘chilli challenge’ as a method of challenge and motivation to allow learners to take ownership of their own learning and achievement.
The aim of this enquiry was to assess what would happen when I introduced ‘The Chilli Challenge’ as a challenger of motivation, in the secondary classroom, with a particular focus on pupils’ confidence levels and their belief in their ability to improve.