A life in the day of three studentsKarolina Landowska, Stepan Hlosek, Jolene Garriock, Hyden Mathys and Matthew Greenhalgh
This chapter follows a number of students through their school day, illustrating the degree to which young people live out their own individual lives in the classroom, sometimes engaged with what the teacher is doing, sometimes disengaged, floating off into a world of their inner thoughts. Their motivation is sometimes down to the skill of the teacher in engaging their interest but sometimes it is their own inner drive that keeps them going while sometimes the teacher actually seems to inhibit their learning, distracting them from their own goals.
The life of individual students in the classroom
We chose to evaluate the motivational influences which are experienced during a day, looking at interaction with teachers and fellow students, the range of learning styles experienced, the length and time of day, the influence of lunch and breaks, the general school atmosphere and ethos.In order to make this assessment, individual students were shadowed for a period of two days, during which time the researcher made detailed observations of the shadowed student's behaviour and experiences. The 'shadowee' was asked at regular intervals to complete a spot-check to gain insights at a given moment about their level of motivation. Finally, we recorded comments and information from an interview with the shadowed student.The assessment involved three stages:
|• plotting motivation over the course of the day;|
|• examining learning and motivation.|
Two days in Gitta's educational life
Figures 16.1, 16.2 and 16.3 from Learning School 2 illustrate the ups and downs of motivation for Gitta over the course of one day and then, in Figure 16.2, the ups and down in learning, each rated on a 4. point scale (4 high, 1 low). Figure 16.3 shows these two together and raises provocative questions about