March 2008 Archives

We talked last week about how stereotypes of African-American students can encourage them to play down their smarts. This week, I'd like to point your attention to this story in the Chicago Tribune that talks about the inverse of that phenomenon. The story is about how struggling Asian students are often overlooked because they are a historically high-performing group. Because of this, there aren't many resources available to help those Asian students who may be having trouble. Part of it is because in most places, Asian students are a fairly small population, and there aren't many educators fluent in their ...


Education Week's Debbie Viadero has written yet another story related to student motivation--this time about class size. According to the article, a study released at the AERA conference has found that smaller classes help students stay on task. This seems sort of obvious, as I've mentioned before, but there are a couple of interesting points she makes that I think are worth noting. The first is that teachers with smaller classes aren't really taking advantage of smaller classes to teach in a more collaborative way. That means that the increased level of attention in students is not coming from a ...


Here is a fantastic talk given by author Dave Eggers about starting 826 Valencia--a combination Publishing Headquarters/Writing and Tutoring Center/Pirate Supply Store. It's a little long (~25 minutes), but it's a great example of how to make learning fun and how teachers, schools, and communities can work together to motivate students. Seriously. Check it out....


We've talked before about students underperforming because of gender stereotypes, but Education Week's Lesli Maxwell has a story up on gifted students underperforming due to racial stereotypes. Gifted black students often feel pressured to "act black," says the story, which students define as "being laid-back, being dumb or uneducated, and pretending not to be smart." This study points to a disconnect between students' schools and their communities. If being educated is considered "white," then studying and acting smart may make black gifted students feel that they are rejecting their black identity. Perhaps this choice could be assuaged if curricula was ...


For those of you who are really into student motivation (as I assume most of you are), I highly suggest that you set aside a good couple of hours to explore all the online features of this month's issue of Educational Leadership. And once you've read through all that, you should get your hands on a physical copy of the magazine and read the rest of the articles. Because--I am not joking--all of the articles in this issue are about student motivation. There are articles about motivating kids to read, motivating kids with technology, how to keep the "flame of ...


Middle school can be rough. It's a weird, in-between, awkward time for most pre-teens, and it also lays the framework for how well a student will progress academically in high school. Educators have given the early and upper grades increased attention, but not much is known about how to motivate students in the unique set of circumstances that is middle school. Education Week reporter Kathleen Kennedy Manzo takes an in-depth look at that particular issue in this article. Here's an excerpt: More than a decade after a prominent group of middle-grades reformers set out to infuse higher academic standards into ...


This past Sunday, I had dinner with a friend of mine I hadn't seen in quite awhile. We used to hang out every couple of weeks or so, but lately it's been more like every few months. The reason can be described in two words: law school. Luckily, he was able to squeeze me in right at the end of his spring break--which he spent writing papers and working on homework--because otherwise, I don't think I would have seen him at all this semester. After all, finals are coming up... in May. "It's time to start studying," he told me. ...


This story in the Rocky Mountain News is about one high school that decided to pay their students to take their state tests in order to increase attendance. Students received about $50 each total, $5 for each test they took and an additional $1 for good behavior. The result? They had almost 100 percent attendance. At least as interesting as the story is the comments left at the end. The general consensus from commenters seems to be that giving incentives to take tests is a bad idea. There are a lot of interesting ideas down there, before the comments begin ...


Like a couple of other edweek.org blogs, Motivation Matters received a 9.5 out of 10 ranking by Blogged.com, a Web site that evaluates, ranks, and categorizes blogs. Of interest to readers of this blog might be the site's directory of education blogs, which you can find here....


This story in the Chicago Tribune discusses the increasingly high price tag of building high schools--sometimes upwards of $100 million. These six-figure high schools can include pools, gardens, planetariums, and other high-priced facilities, says the article. Although this kind of spending does seem somewhat excessive in light of tight state budgets, I wonder how these facilities influence the academic and emotional well-being, as well as the motivation, of the students who attend them. Part of the article hints that it may have a positive impact. Here's an excerpt: "Some of these $100 million-plus schools are magnets serving an affluent or ...


We hear a lot about hands-on lessons in science and technology, but it's not often that we hear about those kinds of experiences in other subjects. This AP story is about a financial-literacy program in a public elementary school in Chicago that gives $20,000 to each 1st grade class to invest in stocks. The kids get to choose and manage the stocks, and in the process learn financial literacy skills such as how to open a bank account, save money, and invest. Here's a little more about how the program works: "Experts manage a $20,000 portfolio for each ...


I was pretty surprised when I read this story in The Seattle Times about a school that will require all 10th graders to take at least one Advanced Placement class next year. While it seems like a good idea to encourage kids to take rigorous classes, is it really smart to require them to enroll in AP? The article says that currently, about 40 percent of sophomores take the one AP course offered to them--European History. By the time the requirement goes into effect, that course will be changed to Human Geography. That means more than half the students in ...


And now, for our (seemingly) weekly update on motivating students with rewards: It looks like the proposal New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was considering back in November that would reward students for doing well in school with cellphones equipped with prepaid minutes has actually come to pass. This is interesting for a couple of reasons. For one thing, cellphones are banned in NYC classrooms, making this proposal a bit counterintuitive. Critics say that rewarding students with a prize that's banned from schools is sending the wrong message. But Roland Fryer, the creator of the program and a leader of ...


Just to be clear, we here at Motivation Matters aren't endorsing any particular candidate in the 2008 presidential election, but we are interested in the effect the election may have on student motivation. Although, as a general rule, K-12 students can't vote, presidential elections--especially ones that are as historic as this one is shaping up to be--have the potential to excite and motivate kids by bringing history and politics out of textbooks and into their daily lives. The video below is a one example of the way a charter school in Chicago is using the election to help students get ...


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