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Re: [teacherartexchange] motivation


From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jul 13 2006 - 09:54:30 PDT

On Jul 13, 2006, at 6:46 AM, Elizabeth Heisey wrote:

> Some of the concepts are about teaching people how to
> teach themselves, perceiving what kind of a leader you
> would be, focusing on what results you really want
> rather than just trying, routines.
> It all starts with the fact that we cannot manage
> others, we can only encourage self motivaton.

I would add and expand:
"Teaching how to teach yourself" ... and teach others. The whole
idea behind all the differentiation methods currently being promoted
is that kids learn best when the learning is self directed. We
teach them how to solve problems and how to use the problem solving
in all areas. Peer teaching is a great motivator. We know the old
saying "you learn best when you have to teach it." Find places
where the kids can research solutions and then teach each other. Act
as facilitator, only interfere when correction is needed.

"Focusing on what results you really want." This is the crux of
the "Understanding by Design " curriculum writing. Start with the
big question then figure the steps to the culminating outcome. And
don't leave the kids out of the process. They need clear
expectations. The question for me, is it what "I want" or what will
give them skills they can transfer to what they want and finding some
place where we both have wants satisfied. I still, too often, see
teachers with certain expectations that have not made evaluation
clear. I still too often hear kids in art wondering why they got a B
or a C on a project when they thought they were doing the right
thing. If a student doesn't do as well on a project as she/he
thought, how do you motivate to the next project?

Sometimes you must give up the routines. I get bored with my
Understanding student learning styles and interests, I think is
critical in motivating. Allowing students to make choices in
their explorations is highly motivating. Teaching them to make the
best choices is our job. The conventions of art making are practice.
The kids will do the practice if we give them the choices as to where
to apply the practice.

> It all starts with the fact that we cannot manage
> others, we can only encourage self motivaton.
I think we can manage. Teacher training courses are filled with
management techniques. Encouraging self motivation is another
skill. I think motivation always starts with the best presentation
from the motivator that there is a reason to be motivated. Value the
parts of the process that the student connects with, build on that,
and wonder if the product is the best part of the process to
evaluate. Keep asking big questions.


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