March 2007 Archives

The March 30 PEN Weekly NewsBlast points to a story in the Contra Costa Times in California that makes you ask: What was the principal thinking? The principal of Mount Diablo High School in Concord, Calif., apparently organized separate assemblies for students of different races in an effort to pump up their motivation to perform better on upcoming state exams. According to the story, jazz music and images of Martin Luther King greeted African-American students, flags from foreign countries greeted Asian students, and Latinos and whites had separate events. The principal said the race-based assemblies were held to prevent one ...


Multitasking zealots will probably take issue with a recent piece in the New York Times about the drawbacks of turning your mind into a hypertext highway. But for those of you who enjoy digging deeply into an idea or problem without constant interruptions, this piece is worth reading. It raises concerns about multitasking that have implications for student learning and, in turn, motivation. And there is a nice little nod by a researcher quoted in the article to the intellectual powers of us older folks. Check it out....


There are some interesting little factoids about student motivation in a recent National School Boards Association report, "Where We Teach," which examines a number of issues related to school climate in urban schools. The report, for instance, found that almost twice as many teachers as administrators surveyed (29 percent vs. 16 percent) said children at their schools are not motivated to learn, suggesting there might be a disconnnect (surprise, surprise) between teacher experiences and administrator perspectives....


One of the responsibilities of this blog is to troll for interesting or useful research articles about student motivation. This morning, I found one while trolling on the American Educational Research Association site. Titled "Students' Motivation for Standardized Math Exams," the article examines how individual differences in motivation and psychological processing affect performance on high-stakes math assessments. It evaluates how factors such as achievement goals, self-concept, and test anxiety are related to student performance. Among other interesting information, the piece includes excerpts from interviews with 8th graders about high-stakes math tests. "Usually tests make me nervous," says one student. "Kind ...


Guest contributor Ann Bradley, an assistant managing editor here at Education Week, often talks about the trials and tribulations of motivating her children to do well in school. This past weekend, she witnessed the poignancy of what really motivates kids. Here's Ann's story: "My 12-year-old son spent the weekend working on a project for his 7th grade Spanish class. They're studying the names of school-related items, like staplers and pencils, and they have to make a locker and fill it with 10 things, all correctly labeled. They also have to write numerous sentences explaining what is in the locker and ...


The transcripts of chats on edweek.org are a treasure-trove of practical tips, well-informed insights, and strong opinions. So if you missed the last chat, "Tough Choices: Preparing Students for Global Competition," check it out. Our featured guests were former Boston schools superintendent Thomas W. Payzant and Marc S. Tucker of the National Center on Education and the Economy. This transcript is worth reading because it raises some important questions related to student motivation. At one point in the discussion, Payzant wonders if our country has the will to improve its education system. He recalls a recent trip to China: "Last...


The Boston public schools have decided to let students from 10 high schools sleep a little later Monday through Friday, according to All About BPS, a district-sponsored blog written by the schools' chief communications officer. Educators, policymakers, and researchers should keep a close eye on these experiments in letting high school kids sleep a little longer, especially if they result in higher levels of achievement. There is already some research available on the effect of school start times on student performance. Undoubtedly, I would have been a strong advocate for the validity of this research when I was in high ...


Thanks to the PEN Weekly NewsBlast for pointing us to a part of the College Board's Web site that asks the question: Are you a helicopter parent? The College Board then offers up an interactive quiz to evaluate if you fall into this category of parenting. The quiz is geared toward parents of high school students who are looking at colleges, so I'll have to wait a few more years before I can take it. But if your children are juniors or seniors in high school, you should take the quiz--even if it might tell you something about yourself you ...


An Indiana University study released last week (sorry for the late notice) suggests that 2 of every 3 high school students are bored in at least one class every day, and 17 percent say they suffer daily boredom in every class. The top two reasons they cite for their boredom are they do not find the material they are studying interesting or they feel it isn't relevant to their lives. What's going on here? Are these kids a bunch of lazy, disengaged whiners? Or do schools need to to a better job making learning interesting and relevant?...


Should pizza be used to motivate students to read more? An Associated Press story about Pizza Hut's Book It program, which rewards young readers with free pizzas based on the number of books they read, says critics of the program are concerned that it contributes to poor eating habits and encourages kids to read lots of easy books, rather than fewer, more difficult ones. Company officials claim that Book It is the nation's largest reading motivation program, reaching roughly 50,000 schools across the country, and turning many non-readers into readers. They also discount the idea that Book It is ...


From the T.F.A. Trenches has a recent entry that touches on the life lessons about resiliency that can be learned by struggling to master basic mathematical concepts. In this case, maybe a failing grade is still a step in the right direction. Nice little story. Check it out....


My job requires quite a bit of multitasking. So I understand that the ability to juggle many tasks is a valuable skill in today's economy. But watching the way some teenagers do their homework, or just how they interact with adults and each other, makes me wonder if all this multitasking (though necessary in the workplace) has a dark underside, a devolution of their thinking skills that position them well to know a little about a lot, but not much in any great depth. Will we soon be living in the land of superficial thinkers? Or will multitasking evolve to ...


Advertisement

Recent Comments

  • Reward Incentive Programs: Awesome!!! Nice write-up. In this present scenario of economic downturn read more
  • milan hotels: I believe that all schools should adapt to the citizen read more
  • best life coaching: I also disagree because motivation is needed everywhere and in read more
  • find a life coach: This is a good way of promoting arts and education read more
  • www.instituteforcoaching.com: citizen school is best schools for all over they motivation read more

Archives

Categories

Technorati

Technorati search

» Blogs that link here