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The Best Posts & Articles On Motivating Students


May 17, 2010

(NOT E: You might also be interested in my book, Helping Students Motivate T hemselves: Practical Answers To Classroom Challenges.) And check out its sequel, Self -Driven Learning. Q & A Collections: Student Motivation brings all my Ed Week posts on student motivation together in one place. Ive put the word motivating in quotation marks f or this post because I hate the word. Heres how I put it in a previous post: Anytime I hear or read about motivating students, I cringe a bit. An organizing truism (one that I learned during my twenty-year community organizing career) is that you might be able to bribe, cajole, badger, or threaten somebody to do something over the short-term (Ive certainly done my of that, and Ive written about the negative results). But I dont think you can really motivate anybody to do anything beyond a very, very, very short timeline, after which the initial enthusiasm quickly dissipates.

However, you can help another person find what will motivate themselves. T he posts in this T he Best list more of my thinking around this perspective.

You might also want to check-out articles Ive written on this topic f or other publications (some have similar titles, but dif f erent content): T he Washington Post: Bribing students: Another magical solution that doesnt work . T he New York Times: Helping Students Motivate T hemselves Education Week: Helping Students Motivate T hemselves Education Week: Several Ways To Motivate the Unmotivated To Learn Washington Post: Helping students motivate themselves You might also be interested in T he Best Resources For Showing Students Why T hey Should Continue T heir Academic Career and My Best Posts On Students Setting Goals. In addition, check-out T he Best Resources For Showing Students T hat T hey Make T heir Brain Stronger By Learning. Here are My Best Posts On Motivating Students: Ive Never Motivated A Student T he Problem With Bribing Students A Few Ref lections On Daniel Pinks New Book, Drive My T houghts On A Very Intriguing Video On Motivation & Incentives T he Dif f erence Between Praise & Acknowledgment How Do You T hink Working Hard & Learning Everything You Can In T his Class Might Help You Now & In T he Future? Now I Know My Brain Is Growing When I Read Every Night On Rewards & Classroom Management What Drives Motivation in the Modern Workplace? Now T his Is T he Way To Make Academic Talks Accessible Great Examples Of Graphic Note-Taking (this post contains a link to a graphic representation of Daniel Pinks book, Drive.) Cooperative Learning Updates On Some Classroom Lessons & Research Ive Been Doing Will Sleeping More Make Me Smarter? A Lesson Im Trying T his Week Mental Imagery & Success Motivating Students Via Mental Time Travel Very Important Study On Learning & T he Brain Another Important Study On Motivation

Exceptional Interview With Daniel Pink Hilarious Video Clip On Motivation, Alf ie Kohn, & T he Of f ice Some Wisdom From T his American Lif e More Evidence T hat Bribes Dont Work For Actions T hat Require Higher Order T hinking Skills Good Short Interview With Daniel Pink Very Usef ul Articles On Motivation Relevance & Student Learning What Does Learning From Mistakes Do To Your Brain? Carrots and sticks: Procrastination f ix? T he Best Short Summary Ive Seen Of Daniel Pinks Book, Drive You Gotta Practice Motivation & Rewards How Incentives Can Be Productive (But Not In T he Way You Might T hink) T he Best Articles On T he New Study Showing T hat Intelligence Is Not Fixed. How To Take Better Advantage Of Brain Plasticity Daniel Pink On Grades, Autonomy & Inquiry How Does Our Brain Learn New Inf ormation? When Students Focus On Tests, T hey Are Not Taking T he Time To T hink About Why T hey Are Learning Words Speak Louder T han Money Highlights Of Twitter Chat With Daniel Pink Does being reminded of money make you an uncooperative jerk or an independent thinker? is a blog post by Daniel Pink on some a new study. Even though its not my post, Im adding it here because its probably the best place f or it. Is T his T he Strategy We Really Want To Use To Change Student Behavior? Important Posts On Motivation What Do New Studies Say Happens If You Are Treated Unf airly And/Or Feel Controlled? Does money really motivate people? Every Day I Discover How Little I Know Heres Another Example A Great Example Demonstrating T he Pitf alls Of Extrinsic Rewards

CEOs and the Candle Problem is a new article describing an old experiment about motivation and the inef f ectiveness of incentives. You Cannot Make A Plant Grow You Can Provide T he Conditions For Growth Even More Evidence T hat outside incentives can undermine the intrinsic motivations Classroom Leadership: Rewards Are Like Crack is by John T. Spencer. First Year Highlights: Student Motivation Starting the Conversation on Rethinking Awards Ceremonies is by Chris Wejr. A Couple Of Posts On Motivation Cant Economists Stay Away From Schools? Dont T hey Have Enough Other T hings To Do? Part Two Of Cant Economists Stay Away From Schools? My Worst Fears Realized Michael Sandel: Should we pay children to read? Toilet-Training, Incentives & Merit Pay Ive previously posted about T he Progress Principle, a book by Prof essor Teresa Amabile. Heres a short video interview with her:

Series Of Good Dan Pink Videos To Use With Students Reward Undermining Heres What I Do During My Favorite Time Of T he School Week Is T his T he Most Important Research Study Of 2012? Maybe Dan Pink was interviewed on CBS, and it really gets at some key elements of motivation and goal-setting. T heres nothing new there f or people f amiliar with his work, but its a great piece to show to colleagues and to students. Ive embedded it below, though am not sure if it will show-up in an RSS Reader:

Short, Sweet & Ef f ective Advice On Helping Students Motivate T hemselves Surprise, Surprise: Study Finds T hat Relationships Promote Perseverance & Cash Bonuses Do Not Teachers As Persuaders: An Interview With Daniel Pink Links To T he Entire Six Week Twitter Chat On Helping Students Develop Intrinsic Motivation Media Coverage Of Mayo Clinics Research On Paying People To Lose Weight Not Seeing T he Forest For T he Trees

How Did I Not Know About T his National Academy Of Sciences Report On Student Motivation? Need More Evidence About T he Dangers Of Extrinsic Rewards? Here It Is From T he Harvard Business Review Inf ographic: How to Motivate Employees (& Maybe It Says Something About T he Classroom, Too) T he More We Try To Control, T he Less Chance Of Getting Our Pref erred Outcomes Quote Of T he Day: Stop Telling Your Employees (& Students) What To Do Quote Of T he Day: No One Likes To Be Changed T his video demonstrates both the disadvantages of extrinsic motivation and the importance of helping our students develop creativity: T he Unengageables is a must-read post by Dan Meyer. Its specif ically talking about math, but much of what he says (and links to) related to motivation issues across all classes. How Incentives Demoralize Us is by Barry Schwartz. Nine T hings Successf ul People Do Dif f erently is by Heidi Grant Halvorson and appeared in the Harvard Business Review. What makes it particularly usef ul in class is an online assessment people can take on it T he 9 T hings Diagnostic. Student Motivations and Attitudes: T he Role of the Af f ective Domain in Geoscience Learning is the very long title of a very usef ul page on motivation research. Quote Of T he Day: Why Paying Kids to Do Homework Can Backf ire 14 Videos f or Starting Dialogue on Rethinking Rewards, Awards is a must-see post f rom Chri Wejr. Sandy Millin has a good post titled Motivation Stations (including student hand-outs) that is specif ically geared to motivation f or learning a second language. When 3+1 is more than 4 is Harvard report on a new study that reinf orces previous research f indings that rewards only work if they are unexpected gif ts. Finding Drive is an article in Language Magazine about motivation in learning a second (or third) language. Feedback is welcome. If you f ound this post usef ul, you might want to consider subscribing to this blog f or f ree. You might also want to explore the 450 other T he Best lists Ive compiled.