Activating the Desire to Learn

Activating the Desire to Learn

Activating the Desire to Learn

Activating the Desire to Learn

Synopsis

The research is indisputable: Students are less disruptive and do better academically in schools that cultivate the internal motivation of students. In Activating the Desire to Learn, veteran educator Bob Sullo shows how to apply lessons from the research on motivation in the classroom. According to the author, we are all driven to fulfill five essential needs: to connect, to be competent, to make choices, to have fun, and to be safe. Studies show that when these needs are met in schools, good behavior and high achievement tend naturally to ensue. Written as a series of candid dialogues between the author and K 12 students, teachers, counselors, and administrators, Activating the Desire to Learn covers everything you need to know to change the dynamics of learning in your classroom or school:
• A comprehensive overview of the research on internal motivation;
• Case studies of strategies for activating internal motivation at the elementary, middle, and high school levels;
• Suggestions on how to assess degrees of student motivation; and
• Guidelines for integrating the principles of internal motivation with standards-based instruction. Motivating students is not the issue the hunger to learn is ever-present. Yet schools continue to insist on the traditional reward-punishment model, to the detriment of student achievement. Clearly it's time for change. This engaging and thought-provoking book will help you create a culture of achievement by building on the inherent drive to succeed that students bring to the classroom every day.

Excerpt

Consider your performance when you are “made” to do something. You complete the required task, but you probably don't put forth your best effort. Because personal motivation comes from within—you are motivated from the inside out—when someone “makes” you do something, your goal is to get the other person to leave you alone. External control may lead to compliance, but it never inspires you to do your best.

Now think of a time when you gave your best effort, when your performance reflected high quality. You no doubt found the experience to be satisfying. Perhaps the activity connected you to others. Immersed in the task, you felt competent and tasted the satisfaction that accompanies hard-earned success. You might have had some choice in how the task was to be done, or even been able to choose if you were going to do the task at all. It was probably enjoyable and you learned something as you worked. In short, because it was need-satisfying, you wanted to do your best.

In the first task, you were driven to escape the control of another. The result: minimal compliance and lower-quality performance. In the second task, you were motivated to do your best because doing quality work allowed you to satisfy your own needs. In both instances, you were motivated from the inside out.

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