Monday, January 13, 2014

Motivation And The Foundation

    The motivation to succeed is lacking in education at the moment. Everyone is trying to instill extrinsic motivation in students to get them to succeed. We establish curriculum, set goals, develop time lines and teach all to the same end. Most students do not want to learn what we are teaching them. The key is to establish intrinsic motivation through finding topics of interest and then applying the curriculum to help them meet their goals. Building on this internal motivation catches the students in the act of learning and expands it to follow the interests and needs of the individuals. They stay motivated because they are interested. One cannot expect to cover the curriculum as it exists now. One cannot expect that square boxes where everyone is taught the same thing will work. As adults we all have different interests and follow those interests to our satisfaction. Why are we restricting students in their interests?

The following is from an article from the Smithsonian based on why schools in Finland are successful.

The Foundation

Public schools should be organized into one system.

Everyone contributes to the curriculum to provide guidelines for learning, not set in stone prescriptions. The guidelines would be brief and to the point.

All resources are given equally to all schools, not just new or wealthy schools.

Every teacher would have to have a master’s degree in theory and practice at state expense. State expense would be grandfathered out in 5 years. At that time all teachers should have a Master’s degree or lose their job.

With a Master’s degree all teachers should be referred to as professionals in the truest sense since their education would be more in line with other professionals.

All children will be taught in the same classrooms, with lots of special teacher help available to make sure no child really is left behind.

Hire and keep people who love the work. Encourage creativity in the workplace. Explore best practices every year.

Equip all schools with the latest technology and find ways to maintain it without giving over control of it to corporate entities.