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January 27, 2009

Musical Motivation

A group of kindergarteners in Schuylkill Valley Elementary School in Pennsylvania are doing something interesting this year—they're all learning how to play the violin. The hope is that the students will show how playing a musical instrument could boost academic performance and cognitive ability. ...

January 16, 2009

The Importance of Art

We are mere days away from President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration, and if there's one thing I learned from the story I just finished up about school construction and facilities, it's that a lot of people have high hopes for what he is going to do when he takes office. Already, the House has rel...

December 30, 2008

Duncan: Embracing Innovative Reform?

It will be interesting to see how Arne Duncan, Obama's pick for Secretary of Education, changes (or doesn't change) the way that schools are run in the United States after Obama takes office on Jan. 20. This article on the Washington Post site suggests that, based on his track record in Chicago, he ...

December 11, 2008

Psychologist:Storytelling Fosters Resilience

Piggybacking on our post a few days ago about Radio Rookies, here's a commentary on that talks about how giving kids, especially those growing up under tough circumstances, the resources to tell their own stories fosters resilience and hope. [Psychologist James W.] Pennebaker has found ...

December 02, 2008

Radio Rookies Program Gives Teens a Voice

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 co...

August 11, 2008

What I've Learned From Public Radio

I have a confession: I am a public radio addict. It started a few months ago when a friend sent me a link to a show he thought I might like, and since then it's spiraled a little bit out of control. I've subscribed to dozens of podcasts and my radio dial has barely moved from my local public radio s...

July 22, 2008

Camp Invention: The Value of Hands-On Activities

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 ...

April 25, 2008

Cultivating Creativity

This story in the Tuscaloosa News hits on a lot of what we talk about here on Motivation Matters. The article tells the story of three high school students who won an international creativity and problem-solving competition while they were in elementary school and went on to found an organization th...

April 17, 2008

Treat Students Like Adults?

Apparently this is treat-kids-like-adults week on Motivation Matters because today, I'm going to point your attention to this editorial, "High schools shouldn't treat students like babies," on the Detroit News. The author of this opinion piece, Michael Williamson, specifically talks about issues tha...

January 31, 2008

Video about Curiosity

Click here to watch an interesting video about curiosity. Although the speaker, Seth Godin, talks about a lot of things besides just education, curiosity is a huge factor in student motivation, and he speaks eloquently about why it's important. Also, about 2 minutes in, he raises an interesting poin...

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