Our Beliefs Are Our Motives

This week we mainly talked about beliefs. Bu Mima opened the class with asking us about our self-actualization, our belief on what we have chosen. She asked me why I chose Math major. My answer was simple; because my mom told me to do so. When I rethink about this answer, I get dizzy. Does it a kind of belief too? A belief that I get because I believe on my mom so I let her to choose what should I believe about myself. She made me believe that I am capable to learn math further more in college. Back on that time, I did believe so. However, now, when I have been doing my days as a math major student for more than 2 years, my belief has changed. Like I said on the MMSEL class last Monday, I am here to survive, not to live the life. I am here because I am already here and will not give up as a coward. I am confident enough with my ability to learn and grasp whatever math SSE gives to my brain, I can survive. This realization, made me think that, again, all activities I’ve done here are my escape from math, something that I do not believe anymore as my specialization. I believe more on my English fluency, speaking ability, management and social skill rather than my ‘A’-for-Math belief. However, I will survive!

The real activity began when Bu Mima gave us an article about the influence of beliefs on motivation to learn. On the article, there are 5 types of beliefs can influence our motivation, but in class we focused on 4 of them. The first belief is beliefs about intelligence. This belief has 2 views upon intelligence: entity and incremental. On entity view, someone may believe on his/ her own capability because he/ she think that it is inherited in his/ her family. For example, a kid believes that he will be a doctor because both of his parents are doctors. As an opposite of the first view, incremental view states that intelligence is not stable; it can be changed with effort. For instance a kid with doctor parents can have his own belief that he does not necessarily have to be doctor too. Once, I had had this belief. My father was an entrepreneur, so did with his father and most of his brothers. My mom was an employee on a multinational company. I thought someday I will be like them; working on a high prestigious building with my Armani suit, Bottega shoes and Aigner bag along with. It was on high school when I realized that I can be something else. Since I used to be an MC and being the best in many presentation projects, I want to be a public relation or an ambassador. This was, most probably, an example of entity view that changed into incremental. The second belief is self-efficacy: beliefs about capability. This belief refers to our certainty on our ability in doing a specific thing. For example, maybe I am not certain with my ability in mathematics but I do certain that I can count well. Again, this is happened to me. Like I have described before, I am no longer certain about my pathway in mathematics. However, I am sure that I can still handle it because I am certain with my brain ability in doing calculation and understanding story problems. The next one is belief about value. This belief has 3 kinds of values: attainment value, utility value, and cost. The first value is a belief that comes as a result on how we were being valued in the past. The second one, utility value, is a belief in doing something because one believe that it will be useful for its future although one doesn’t like it. Cost value is a belief that in doing something must be exist another things that have to be sacrificed.

Another thing about belief is that as a teacher we have to be believed by our students. One of the ways to lose that believe (in this case, I would prefer to say it as TRUST) is by talking a language our students can’t understand. It doesn’t have to be  a different language. Sometime it is the same language that’s spoken with a different style. For instance this conversation occurred in Singlish (Singaporean English). It might not be conversation between teacher and students but, well, you will see lah Singaporean Conversation Transcript.

Overall, I learned about my own belief in this class. I do motivated by my beliefs, some of them are intrinsic motivation and other is extrinsic ones. I also learned that as a teacher we need to recognize our students’ beliefs. By knowing this we can anticipate any possibility that might impact our students performance in class. Eventually, one thing that I believe for sure is that something good doesn’t necessarily mean to be right but a right thing will always be good.

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