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 ...


My 13-year-old is now on page 105 of The Power of One. This is truly amazing! That's about 25 pages ahead of his younger brother and possibly a record for the number of pages he has ever read in any book. This competition may be working. Stay tuned......


In a recent entry I talked about motivating my non-reader 13-year-old to read a book titled The Power of One. I received some thoughtful suggestions from readers of this blog for how to motivate non-readers, such as sharing the reading of the book aloud occasionally or just talking about the characters in the book with him. Nobody, however, recommended the use of competition. Yet competition is exactly what appears to be having a positive effect. His 10-year-old brother (who is a big reader) picked up a copy of the same book and started reading it. This prompted his older brother ...


The good news in the math world is that girls appear to be performing as well as boys...the bad news is that there is still waning interest among girls in certain math-related subjects as they move through high school. That is the conclusion of a recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of California, Berkeley. See Education Week's coverage of the study, "Stereotype of Mathematical Inferiority Still Plagues Girls." Have girls really made this much progress in math? Why or why not?...


Are educators motivated by coping with the challenges they face? Or do they want to transform their environments into something better? A recent commentary in Education Week examines those questions specifically regarding school principals. What motivates them? And which type of principal is better for struggling schools, a coper or a transformer? "The contrasts in how these two groups talked about being a principal were often stunning," writes Jean Johnson, the author of the article and the executive vice president of Public Agenda and the head of its Education Insights Division. The commentary is based on Public Agenda’s latest ...


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