Motivation and instruction

Interesting effortless and effortful learning

Pragmatic Education

lazysquirrel

Why do some kids arrive at secondary school already motivated to work hard, while some arrive demotivated to exert much effort at all in lessons?

Picture two students you’ve taught: one who works incredibly hard, and one who seems incredibly lacklustre and avoids making effort. What explains this difference? How does motivation work?

In a series of five blogposts, I plan to explore what we as teachers can do about motivation, self-control and willpower in school. There’ll be stories of elephants, chimps and bees; mindsets, biases and self-fulfilling prophecies. The heroes of the story will be Carol Dwek, Daniel Kahnemann, Richard Thaler & Cass Sunstein, Jonathan Haidt, Kelly McGonigal and the Heath brothers. Going beyond the cognitive psychology I’ve been exploring, this is a journey into our social, intuitive minds.

In the first post of the series, I want to see how two approaches from the field of economics might apply…

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