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Some Wisdom From “This American Life”

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People might be familiar with the great NPR radio program “The American Life.”

Today, they replayed an older episode about a family coping with a son who had attachment disorder.

I was struck by a comment the mother made:

No you can’t teach love….I don’t think the goal is ever love, the goal is attachment. You can work really hard to create an environment where you can form attachment. You want to create situations where it’s more advantageous for them to attach than to keep doing things their own way and isolated.

I thought her comment was also very applicable to the misconception that you can motivate students. I don’t believe you can, as I wrote in my post, I’ve Never “Motivated” A Student.

We can help create a situation where we hope they see it as more advantageous for them to feel motivated, but we can’t motivate them.

You might also be interested in My Best Posts On “Motivating” Students.

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Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.

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