September 2008 Archives

Following suit with programs in Chicago and New York, it looks like a group of schools in Washington has now jumped on the cash-incentive bandwagon, according to this Washington Post article. About 3,000 students could earn as much as $1,500 per academic year for good behavior, getting to class on time, and earning high grades. The program, called Capital Gains, is the brainchild of Roland Fryer, who crafted similar programs in New York and Chicago. In light of the economic climate in this country right now, there's another aspect of this program that I think could be beneficial ...


Education Week's Stephen Sawchuk has written an interesting story about a massive reform effort going on in New Hampshire designed to personalize students' learning--allowing them more access to alternative education, distance-learning opportunities, and learning opportunities outside of school, like internships and apprenticeships. Educators hope that tying in curriculum to real-world applications will increase student engagement and ultimately boost graduation rates, says the article. Making learning relevant to students' lives is a huge part of increasing motivation, and I think this is an ambitious and thoughtful effort in that respect, although I do wonder how it will all pan out in ...


This story in The Washington Post is an interesting (though not totally unexpected) twist in the debate over rewarding kids in schools. Apparently schools in the greater Washington area are rethinking the way food is used as a reward for good behavior. Giving students sweets for doing well sends students the wrong message about nutrition, says the article. Instead, teachers are turning to other methods of rewarding students--like allowing them to be first in line to recess, said one teacher. Regardless of what students should and should not be rewarded for, in light of rising childhood obesity rates and the ...


This paper (PDF) about what motivates parents' decisions about schools in an open enrollment district gets a little technical, but has a lot of good information about the factors at play. It explains the general concept of open enrollment and examines Colorado and Minnesota's systems in depth. According to the researchers' findings, parents are likely to make a decision about which school their child attends based on a myriad of factors: standardized test scores, the amount of per-pupil-spending, class size, income levels, and race. However, the school districts have their own interests as well, which sometimes conflict with the desires ...


We've heard of social studies teachers seizing the moment and using the buzz around the Presidential election as a way to motivate students to learn more about the workings of our government. With most students having little knowledge of the workings of a free-market economy, it would be nice to see social studies teachers across the country also using the buzz about the recent economic failures in the United States to teach students how our economy works. Maybe a nation that is significantly more economically literate would be more likely to prevent the kind of economic collapses we have witnessed ...


As both Kevin and I have talked about many times before, sports can have a tremendously positive effect on kids, especially those who are seeking a supportive community, and this article from the New York Times is just one more example of that. Former Philadelphia Eagles pro football player Roynell Young started an after-school program, charter school, and job training program that specifically targets at-risk youth in Houston called Pro-Vision. The program, which has grown exponentially since its beginning in 1990, is scheduled to move from the schoolhouse where it resides now to a 16-acre campus--which includes an NFL sponsored ...


It's been awhile since we talked about cash incentives for grades, but the subject has once again reared its head, this time in Chicago. About 5,000 high school freshmen in 20 Chicago schools could earn $50 for every A, $35 for every B, and $20 for each C on their report cards this year, says the article. Students who receive a failing grade cannot receive any money until they bring it up to a C or better. A straight-A student could potentially earn up to $4,000 by graduation, according to the article. That's quite a bit of money. ...


Before the school year started, I started a little narrative about my non-reader 13-year-old picking up a book called The Power of One and showing miraculous signs that he might be capable of actually reading a novel from start to finish. It looked good at first as he cruised through 100 pages in a little over a week. But since school has started, his pace has slowed considerably. He is now only inching along and is on page 117. I hope to get him back on track, but he keeps telling me he has no time for pleasure reading because ...


A few days ago, I ran across this article in the Boston Globe about the importance of daydreaming to creativity and how television has significantly cut into that time. After observing a group of children for several months, Teresa Belton, a research associate at East Anglia University in England, concluded that whenever children got bored, they immediately turned to the television for entertainment. The problem with this habit, Belton says, is that it kept the kids from daydreaming. Because the children were rarely bored - at least, when a television was nearby - they never learned how to use their ...


When I was a kid, we spent most of our family vacations in national parks. Going camping instead of staying in hotels allowed us to visit lots of places we otherwise wouldn't have had the opportunity to see, and from a young age, those trips fostered an excitement for conservation and preservation of the environment in both me and my sister. During my recent cross-country adventure, we spent a few nights camping in both the Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. As I flipped through the parks' complementary newspaper and visitor guide, I noticed a few programs designed to teach ...


I had been to a lot of places in the U.S. before this trip, but this was my first visit to the Midwest. Our route took us through Illinois, Iowa, and we made a two-day stop in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, just south of Omaha, to stay with some relatives of one of my traveling companions. The family we stayed with owns over 1,000 acres of farmland where they make their living growing soybeans and corn. Besides being my first trip to Nebraska, it was also my first trip to a farm, and we were given the full tour. Growing ...


I was happy to see the news that participation in high school sports in the United States rose to a record 7.4 million last year, according to a survey by the National Federation of State High School Associations. I have always believed that participation in sports yields benefits that go way beyond the sports themselves and schools should work to raise participation rates as much as possible. Football topped the list for participation rates for boys, while basketball was number one for girls. To read more about the study and participation rates in other sports, see this article....


Hello, everyone! It's been awhile since I've been able to post here on Motivation Matters, mostly because for the past few weeks, I've been in the middle of a massive cross-country move from my home state of Virginia to Portland, Oregon. I, along with two of my friends from college, arrived on the west coast earlier this week after a fifteen-day drive that took us across the entire continental U.S. and into the homes of several generous families who put us up along the way. It was an incredible way to see the country, and I am extremely grateful ...


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