Response to Motivating Students with the Brain in Mind

@LieslMcConchie Article: https://www.ascd.org/el/articles/motivating-students-with-the-brain-in-mind

@LieslMcConchie In this article you indicate that using deficit language like “this is an unmotivated student” is dangerous because it can result in teachers lowering their expectations for students’ learning potential. The idea of all students having the potential for learning is rooted in the Humanistic, Learner-Centered educational philosophy (to which I subscribe). It has been interesting to engage with articles such as this on ASCD’s site and to observe how the Whole Child approach to education integrates several curricular conceptions. It draws from Learner-Centered curricular design in the emphasis on personalized learning, Social-Reconstructivism in its emphasis on education’s role in the broader community, and Cognitive-Process Orientation and Technology as curriculum in appropriately challenging students to develop critical thinking skills and technological proficiency that will prepare them for the 21st century world.

Specifically within this article, you articulate that teachers play a role in shaping cognitive and motivational responses in students. The view of the teacher as a guide in shaping students’ experience of learning material and fostering their intrinsic motivation is tied to a socio-constructivist view of learning, where students form meaning through their interactions with learning experiences and socially construct knowledge. As teachers invest time in knowing their students, they are better equipped to design learning experiences that are relevant and interesting to students and to know how to best spark that intrinsic motivation that makes learning fun!

One of the most important motivators I have found in my classroom is projects that are collaborative. The social element of the classroom is something middle and high school students really enjoy, so I am trying to find more ways of making art projects group based rather than individual. I’m curious to hear others’ thoughts on what curricular, instructional, or assessment approaches increase their students’ motivation?