“Who doesn’t want a beautiful, extraordinary life?”
I think this video encapsulates the idea posed by CS Lewis that “something deep within the human heart breaks at the thought of mediocrity.” Take inspiration from this video shared by my friends at www.created.education. They are exploring ways to empower individuals to achieve this goal by creating a platform for entrepreneurship and mentorship alongside the development of the individual through a foundation in the liberal arts. Really cool!
“If I really want to change my life, I might best begin by changing my mind.”
– Pico Lyer
Too often in education, I think, we focus on changing the measurable outcomes and actions of the individual. Not to discount the behaviorist paradigm, but actions must come from somewhere. In this video, Pico Lyer challenges our assumptions of what it takes to change a life. Perhaps it is not simply stuffing more information into the brain, but re-thinking our approach entirely.
This TED talk by Richard Baraniuk outlines an idea of a “knowledge ecosystem” in which users become contributors and producers. Create, Mix, Rip, Burn – basically build upon the ideas of others to make learning bigger, more accessible, culturalized, and personalized.
Click here to visit http://openstaxcollege.org where this process began and continues to grow.
Incentives only improve performance when the problems are simple.
Complex challenges require a different source of motivation. Which category does education fall into? What are we training our students to do when we teach them to respond to incentives like grades?
“once the task called for even rudimentary cognitive skill, a larger reward led to poorer performance” – Dan Pink
So, how do we motivate our students?
Dan suggests that we build around intrinsic motivation through the following three dynamics:
- autonomy – to direct our own lives
- mastery – the desire to improve
- purpose – a yearning to be part of something greater than ourselves
These work in business, why not education?
While this talk is focused on the business and economic environment, the considerations are quite relevant as they force educators to grapple with the idea that perhaps grades are a bad incentive for motivating our students.
“There is a mismatch between what science knows and what business does.”
Let’s consider how these concepts can create a more valuable and rewarding education experience.
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