What Motivates Learning?

This week’s #youredustory prompt is:

What motivates learning?

Innate curiosity motivates learning.

I know it sounds simple, but we all have it. In the right setting we are encouraged and our curiosity is fostered. In the wrong setting, our curiosity is squashed and we become resistant.

So What Is The Proper Setting?

One in which we are encouraged to ask questions, probe further, and investigate that which interests us. Some great examples of setting that foster learning are: Genius Hour, 20% Time, Maker Space/Maker Movement, and Project Based Learning. In each of these examples, students are encouraged to take ownership over their learning, investigate, create, question, an expand themselves.

What Happens In A Wrong Setting?

In the wrong setting, students have little to no control over what they are to learn. Learning is mandated with a top-down approach. Pacing guides, mandated (use with fidelity, no supplements allowed) curriculum, over testing, high stakes testing, etc. I think you get the idea. Basically, traditional school.

How To Break Free

The excitement is evident. This excitement translates to learning.

Push and challenge the thinking at your school. Start small, and build upon your successes. Begin with Genius Hour. Prove to the powers that be that there IS a different way to teach and learn. MAKE learning fun for your students. Tap into their interests and build on that. Change the culture of your classroom and then the school.

2 thoughts on “What Motivates Learning?

  1. bjornpaige May 10, 2015 / 4:37 pm

    Thanks for your great post on motivating learning. Fostering this “innate curiosity” is a challenge for all of us, and this was a nice reminder of the importance of creating a positive space for learning.

    • Admin May 10, 2015 / 6:56 pm

      Thank you. It is easy to lose focus on creating that environment. We are under so much pressure to perform well on tests. I know I often get stressed which leads to me being cranky. And that does no one any good.

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