Here at edweek.org, we've got a lot of really fantastic blogs that run the gamut of education topics, and catching up with them over the past few days, I ran into a couple of posts that are particularly relevant to those interested in student motivation. Over at Bridging Differences, Deborah Meier talks about what happens when students "play the school game,"—i.e. when getting good grades begins to become more important than actually taking and pursuing classes that they're actually interested in. Meanwhile, as one of my grandsons reminded me, high school and college alike are “means” for ...


As I've mentioned before, I am a public radio junkie, so I was delighted to find out about this program in New York City called Radio Rookies that conducts workshops for underprivileged teens in the area to teach them how to use radio recording equipment to tell stories about themselves and their communities that ultimately air on WNYC's Morning Edition. One of the most recent segments was produced by Keith Harris a high school senior who was raised in Guyana and didn't learn to read until he came to school in the United States in 9th grade. His segment talks ...


This AP article about a survey on American students' ethics paints a grim picture of what kids think is right and wrong. According to the survey, 35 percent of boys and 26 percent of girls admitted to stealing merchandise from a store within the past year, up from 32 percent of boys and 23 percent of girls in 2006. Sixty-four percent of students admitted to cheating on a test within the past year, and 36 percent said they had used the Internet to plagiarize an assignment for school within the past year, says the survey, which gathered responses from almost ...


Yesterday, as I was walking around in my neighborhood, I passed an elementary school near my house with a community garden tucked into the corner next to the soccer fields and thought about how I wished I would've had the opportunity to learn about gardening when I was that age. And today, I discovered this AP story on edweek.org about the growing number of gardens in schools across the country, designed to teach kids not only about gardening and biology, but also about nutrition and making healthy eating choices. As organic foods become more popular, and childhood obesity becomes ...


Here's an organization that readers of this blog might feel is worth checking out called the Quaglia Institute for Student Aspirations. Founded and run by Russell J. Quaglia, the independent nonprofit organization has developed eight conditions necessary to increase student aspirations and motivation. They are as follows: belonging, heroes, a sense of accomplishment, fun and excitement, curiosity and creativity, a spirit of adventure, leadership and responsibility, and confidence to take action. There's also a page on their Web site that has links to speech transcripts and reports for people interested in improving student motivation. There's a lot of information about ...


My colleague Lesli Maxwell has a story up this week about the Atlanta school district, which over the past ten years or so has experienced a complete overhaul from superintendent Beverly L. Hall. The changes Ms. Hall has made to the organization and structure of the schools, as well as the initiatives she has pushed for to jumpstart student achievement are far-reaching, but a couple of things I read about in the article struck me as particularly relevant to readers of this blog. One initiative, called Project GRAD, encourages students to perform at high levels in school in order to ...


Here's an AP article about a charter school in Arizona that is successfully teaching preschoolers Chinese, kindergartners division, and middle schoolers college algebra. It's a small program—only 17 students take the full regimen of classes—but it's open to students regardless of income, gender, or ethnicity and is based on the idea that all students can perform at gifted levels if they are given the right curriculum and guidance, says the article. Here's a little about how the school operates: Students address teachers by their first names.There's also a wide range of ages and grade levels in any ...


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