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Passion for Learning

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Fascinating discussion going on between Diane Ravitch and Deborah Meier on their Bridging Differences blog. They are talking about what might entice today's students to work harder and have a greater passion for learning. Check it out here.

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Creating a passion for learning within students is more than putting the "right" curriculum in front of them. Students today are motivated to learn differently than students 5-10 years ago. In Bob Sullo's book, Activating the Desire to Learn, the research of Glasser, Kohn, adn Jensen describes internal motivation. For years we have been trying motivate or create a passion for learning using external motivation consisting of rewards and punishment. I believe developing internal motivation in students requires more time and patience. However, the benefits for students are both short term and long term. Many missions talk about creating life long learners. It is easy to understand how internal motivation can be the way to develop a passion for learning. The book uses examples at the elementary, middle, and high school levels to explain how internal motivation can be developed. It is something that can be easily implemented by all teachers. Easily meanng that the techniques and methods are not difficult skills for teachers to learn and use.

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