Practical Theory - The Origin
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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Motivation is

Motivation is the reason we succeed or fail.

Public education is America is just fine, despite what the media and pundits say. In fact it is far better than it has ever been. Nicholas Lehman's recent Comment in the New Yorker provides some context: "A hundred years ago, eight and a half per cent of American seventeen-year-olds had a high-school degree, and two per cent of twenty-three-year-olds had a college degree." We know who went to school then and who didn't. So since 1954, America is educating all of its pre 17 year olds, NOT just some of them. This is not so in other countries. We are graduating a larger percentage of those students then ever before. More than in other countries. He goes on to speak about how messy education may be. I agree it is messy, but when you do something and do it well, you make a mess. Ask any chef, painter, carpenter. He is right is showing how our presidents are merely repainting the old walls of the school. many of us have suggested we tear down those schools and rebuild them using technology. Technology as we have learned raises the bar for the haves and have nots. The technology provides access to information heretofore restricted only to the haves. Democracy around the world has been born and sustained because of our new technologies. If only our leaders could see how powerful and useful technology could be in our schools then we would have a better educational system. Bill Clinton got it. Technology enhances what we know about education and we have seen nothing but the elimination of this great tool in our schools. Walk into any computer lab and see how motivated the scholars are. Then walk into a classroom bereft of computers. Which class has a higher level of activity? Motivation? Production?

The age in Jacques' diatribe that begins, "All the world's a stage," about the "whining school-boy" has always been one of my favorite ones mentioned:
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail

Unwillingly to school.
Shakespeare is alluding to motivation in the scholar. Robert J Samuelson speaks about "motivation" in education today in his recent Op-Ed in the Washington Post just as schools were beginning on September 6, 2010. Certainly one of the motivating tools used by teachers in the past have been a switch or stick used to rap knuckles or other forms of corporal punishment not allowed today, not that I would argue for a return to corporal punishment. So let's not wax nostalgic about schools of yesterday or reminisce about those days of your childhood because you will forget the horrors we experienced, horrors we do not want to visit on our scholars today.

Samuelson speaks well about the poor motivation in today's schools. The bottom line is that students don't like school, concludes Samuelson. Even teachers are not motivated. How can anyone be motivated when the curriculum hasn't changed, hasn't been modified to reflect our current society, and we teach so our scholars take mindless multiple choice tests. We need to provide stimulating project based lessons that have the scholars produce something that they can show to others and to have conversations about. School is boring because of how it is done. the scholars still sit in rows. One person talks at a time. We are doing this to people who successfully multitask when not in school. School is boring, raising your hand to speak, not having time to say what you want, and never having time to delve into a topic. Technology has the tools, that are mostly blocked in schools, that could provide a beginning in motivating scholars. Teachers aren't motivated to use the technology because of the filters and poor maintenance.

What is said is that not much hasn't changed since Shakespeare's time. I'm reminded that Shakespeare never finished high school and never went to college. Some of our most successful and richest people never finished college or went to college. What that tells me is that schools still do not provide the important fodder for success so those who want to excel, drop out.

To motivate scholars in schools make school relevant. Right now schools are irrelevant in spite of what President Obama said in his Back to School Speech. Motivation comes from being inspired and technology is the most powerful tool we have to provide inspiration and we have neglected it badly in our schools. The point is that we can do better, but not if we continue with the same old same old methods. We must be motivated and inspired to reinvent education with the assistance of technology. Computer assisted instruction has proven its effectiveness over the years, so let's give computer assisted education a try, a better try than the feeble attempts we have seen so far.

1 comment:

rental ac said...

exactly our needed a great motivation because motivation teach how to grow by absolute.

thanks, have a wonderful day.