“The learners will inherit the earth while the learned will find themselves fully equipped for a world that no longer exists”. Anonymous
Our world is changing at an exponentially rapid rate and information on how our world operates seems to find obsolescence almost at the point of publication. Ongoing learning is a critical skill to successfully negotiate our ever changing world. Our children will find themselves in an environment that is changing in its complexity at speeds even faster than we have witnessed.
To create lifelong learners, it is important to instill a desire for learning for its own sake. Current research shows that while offering stars and stickers and other extrinsic rewards on the surface appears helpful, in the long run, it shifts the focus of the source of joy from the inherent value of learning, gaining insight and becoming more proficient to the external reward. In order to develop intrinsic motivation to learn, children should be taught to experience the joy and delight in the acquisition of knowledge and insight. This is accomplished by encouraging them to celebrate their own achievements by guiding them to access their own feelings and take ownership of their achievements. This delicate balance of nudging and guiding the student to higher levels of achievement while making it their own journey of discovery is evoked through encouraging and nurturing their inherent curiosity about the world around them.
One example of what I did to foster intrinsic motivation in my children is when they brought their report cards, I went over it with them individually, one subject at a time, and asked them how they felt about their grade that they had earned. If they indicated dissatisfaction with what they earned in a particular subject, I asked them what they can do about it and what action steps they will take to get the desired result. I supported them in problem solving and other support they needed, like tutoring or talking to their teacher, etc. What I did not do, and this may seem counter intuitive, is to praise the high grades and be critical of the low grades. I deliberately held back my judgments and remained neutral and initiated an inquiry into their feelings. After all, it is their report card and their journey.
I bring this way of being to my tutoring center to foster the same kind of intrinsic motivation for learning.
For more information contact me through our website: www.academicsuccessinc.com