June 2008 Archives

I recently finished writing a story about Twitter for Education Week's Digital Directions, which included a profile of one teacher in Silver Spring, Md., George Mayo, who is using Twitter with his students for a variety of projects. Mayo set up a Twitter account called Many Voices and invited students to submit a sentence or two to a rolling collaborative story, which he then published and made available to purchase in print or as a free download. As you might expect, Mayo said his students were thrilled at being able to participate in the project, and they found seeing their ...


This article in the New York Times debates the pros and cons of 8th-grade graduation ceremonies. In recent years, that benchmark has become more extravagant, says the article, which could send the wrong message to students by treating middle school graduation as an accomplishment and not an expectation. A blowout 8th-grade graduation could take away from the experience of high school graduation and make students think that finishing middle school is a sufficient level of education, some educators contend. But graduating from middle school is an accomplishment for some kids, opponents say, and recognizing that can be a strong motivator ...


This story by the BBC about encouraging more students to study science by putting more emphasis on hands-on experiments and less on testing is an interesting follow-up to a few of the recent blog posts on Motivation Matters. It's a quick and interesting read. And on a technical note, a few weeks back, we had a glitch with our RSS feed. To start the feed up again, try unsubscribing and then re-subscribing, and it should clear up the problem. And if you don't already subscribe to the Motivation Matters feed, I highly suggest that you click the big orange RSS ...


This commentary, by Leonard Sax, makes an interesting point. He says: The real gender gap is not in ability but in motivation--not in what girls and boys can do, but in what girls and boys want to do: specifically, in what they want to learn, and how they want to learn it. The number of women studying physics and computer science has dropped by 50 percent in the past 20 years, says Sax, and part of the reason may be that girls respond better to different teaching methods than boys do. They're more interested in "the nature of things" than "kinematics...


Here's a story from The Seattle Times that tackles an important question: Does standardized testing motivate students? This year, on the Washington Assessment of Student Learning, students passed in much higher numbers than predicted. "The kids rose to the occasion," [said one superintendent]. "I don't know what else to say. I was just absolutely blown away." Of course, this was not the case with all students, and some education organizations, including the Washington Education Association, don't believe that WASL scores should determine whether a student can graduate. Still, there are plenty of students and teachers who believe the test does ...


Debbie Viadero has a new story up on edweek.org about a book that explores the number of "rudderless youths" who go through high school and sometimes college without a clear sense of what they want to do with their lives afterwards. The book, The Path to Purpose: Helping Our Children Find Their Calling in Life, calls on both parents and educators to help students focus their interests and explore possible career paths at a younger age. A narrowed curriculum, says the author William Damon, along with feelings of alienation from society, may be contributing to an increase in the ...


My colleague Sean Cavanagh, who covers math and science here at Education Week, recently wrote an article about science labs in elementary schools. According to the story, although science standards generally call for hands-on experiments even in the early grades, such lab work doesn't always happen because of time constraints and a lack of teacher training. But introducing students to science experiments at an early age not only helps reinforce scientific laws and concepts, but also increases students' enthusiasm for the subject, says the article. I, for one, do not recall ever conducting science experiments when I was in elementary ...


I just finished writing an article for Digital Directions about using digital video in the classroom. It was a fun article to write since all of the educators I spoke with about using digital media in the classroom were passionate and thoughtful speakers, which makes my job pretty easy. And it seems like every time I write about teachers who are using technology in their classes, student motivation is a topic that inevitably comes up. When I asked one art teacher in my story, Kristine Fontes, whether or not her students were more engaged when she used digital media, I ...


This story, written by my colleague Erik Robelen, is about a study of student reward programs conducted by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes, which found that such programs improved students' reading scores, but had no discernible effect on math performance. One interesting thing about this study was that it grouped together different kinds of incentives--from cash and MP3 players to certificates of merit. What I didn't expect to see when reading the article was such a strong backlash against these initiatives in the comments. One reader wrote that educators were turning students into "trained dolphins" that would only ...


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