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Monday, August 4, 2008

Motivating Students

Jay Mathews of the Washington Post has some interesting comments on motivating students. I've listed the bullets - read the explanations here:
Five Ways to Motivate Students

By Jay Mathews
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 4, 2008; 6:11 AM

1. Only work on those who need it.  "Grades are often not as motivating as we would like them to be. They lose their power for most students because "only so many A's and B's are awarded in each class, irrespective of the performance of the rest of the students in the class."

2. Stop telling them they're smart. "While there is much talk in American society about the importance of hard work and its relationship to success in life," Goslin writes, "most Americans act as though innate abilities are the primary determinants of their most important accomplishments."

3. Make sure the homework isn't stupid.

4. Show some respect for learning. "The richest man in the world, that bespectacled genius in Washington state, is a college dropout. Goslin understands our attitude, but pleads for some adjustment. Maybe we should point out to our children that although Bill Gates doesn't have a bachelor of arts degree, he sometimes goes off for days at a time just to read books and think."

5. Involve the kid's family. "The school is only one of the two principal socializing institutions in society, the other being the family,"


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