This story from the Associated Press is one part good and one part not-so-hot news for educators about girls and math. According to the article, girls and boys score equally well on math tests in every grade from 2nd through 11th, but the stereotype that boys are better at the subject still persists in the mindset of teachers and parents, which can have devastating effects on motivation levels for girls. The stereotype that boys are better at math has been fueled, at least in part, by suggestions of biological differences in the way little boys and little girls learn. Regardless ...


Back in April, we posted a blog entry about Randy Pausch, a Carnegie Mellon University professor who, after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, delivered a "Last Lecture" about achieving childhood dreams. Pausch, who expanded his lecture into a book, appeared on Oprah, and inspired millions of people with his message, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer last Friday. Now might be a good time to revisit his lecture, in remembrance of this man and his timeless message....


This story from The Sacramento Bee is a great follow-up to yesterday's post about the relationship between motivation, mentorship, and parental involvement. In the program described in the article, school counselors visit struggling students' homes to sit down with them and their parents and talk about ways to keep them motivated. The house calls encourage a relationship between the school and the parents, and keep everyone in the loop so they can work together to keep the student on track. I've never heard of something quite like this before, and the results are largely positive, according to the article, which ...


This commentary on edweek.org boils down four factors, which the author, Leanna Landsmann, calls the four M's, that make high-achieving, low-income New York City high school seniors into college-goers: mentors, moxie, motivation, and Moms. To me, the four factors she outlines are inseparable, and all have to do with motivation. Students who have mentors, especially parents, who help encourage them to aim high and persevere despite the sometimes enormous obstacles standing in their way are much more likely to be motivated to do well in school. Similarly, I think the moxie Landsmann refers to speaks to an inner desire ...


Here's another example of a summer camp that aims to introduce kids to opportunities they may not have the chance to experience during the school year. The Ohio-based program is called Camp Invention, and it fuses hands-on activities with science, math, history, and the arts. The most recent week of the program focused specifically on combining science and entrepreneurial skills, something I think is key for success in today's global economy, but which teachers often do not get the opportunity to specifically address during the school year. In my opinion, through programs like this one, there's great potential to spark ...


I have mixed feelings about this AP story, which is about a library that has set up a place for kids to play video games. On the one hand, I do think it's a great way to draw kids into the library and expose them to what it has to offer, but being a reader at heart, I can't help but wonder if it might encourage some potential readers to skip over the books and other resources the library provides in favor of more easily accessible entertainment. This library in Arizona is part of a new project launched by the ...


This commentary on edweek.org is all about the importance of motivation in closing the achievement gap. It's a good read that pulls together a lot of what we talk about here on this blog. Check it out....


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