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All Teachers Could Benefit From Watching New PBS NewsHour Segment On Motivation

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Regular readers know I’m very interested in the concept of student motivation (and have even written three books on it – with a fourth on the way – see Best Posts On “Motivating” Students).

Dan Ariely is a Duke professor who has also studied the topic (you can see my past posts about his work here, including a video he did for my Ed Week column).

This evening, the PBS NewsHour did a great interview with him about employee motivation, but just substitute the word “student” for employee and it will be extremely relevant to teachers.

You can read the transcript here, and I’ve embedded the video below.

In it, he discusses the Ikea Effect (see Video: “How the ‘IKEA effect’ can motivate people to work [& learn] harder”) – basically, we are more invested in something if we feel we contributed to creating it.

I believe that idea can also be applied to constructivist pedagogy, which is why I’m a big believer in inductive teaching (see The Best Resources About Inductive Learning & Teaching, as well as this post.

In the PBS segment, he also discusses the demotivating aspects of seeing your work destroyed in front of you, which is why I am always very careful to wait to throw away student posters and other work until they are long gone for the day..

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

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

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