Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

October 23, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo

Daniel Pink On Grades, Autonomy & Inquiry

Daniel Pink was recently interviewed on a local Washington, D.C. television show along with a local university official. You watch it all here, but I thought the few minutes he spent discussing the role of grades, autonomy and inquiry in education to be particularly thought-provoking. I used Tube Chop to “chop” those two brief segments and have them embedded below. I don’t know if they will come through on an RSS Readers, so you might have to click through to my blog in order to view them.

I’m adding this post to My Best Posts On “Motivating” Students.

June 3, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Short Summary I’ve Seen Of Daniel Pink’s Book, “Drive”

I’ve written quite a bit about Daniel Pink’s book, Drive, here on this blog (see My Best Posts On “Motivating” Students) and in my new book.

I recently saw what I think is the best short description and summary of the book’s key points. Check-out the post “What really motivates us?” at the Barking Up the Wrong Tree blog.

April 12, 2011
by Larry Ferlazzo
1 Comment

Good Short Interview With Daniel Pink

“The American School Board Journal” has published a nice short interview with Daniel Pink, author of the book, “Drive.”

For people familiar with his work, there’s probably nothing new in it. But it’s a nice introduction to the problems of rewards and incentives.

I’ll add this resource to My Best Posts On “Motivating” Students.

August 31, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo

Exceptional Interview With Daniel Pink

I’ve just finished listening to an hour-and-twenty-minute interview/conversation between Daniel Pink (author of Drive) and Russ Roberts, host of a podcast titled EconTalk.

It’s really an exceptional conversation. Roberts is a gentle skeptic at times of Pink’s points, and it creates a situation where Pink talks about his research and perspective in a somewhat different way than I have heard him talk about it before — I’ve usually just read what he has written, or heard/read interviews from people who are in complete agreement. It was very helpful.

The last half hour of the interview is entirely devoted to incentives in education, but don’t just go to that part. I usually am not a fan of podcasts, but his one is worth listening through in its entirety.

I’m adding this post to My Best Posts On “Motivating” Students.

January 1, 2010
by Larry Ferlazzo

A Few Reflections On Daniel Pink’s New Book, “Drive”

Daniel Pink’s new book, “Drive:The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us,” just came out. I found it to be a very interesting “read,” though have to admit I was a little bit disappointed that — as far as practical applications to teaching — it didn’t have that much beyond what could be found in his must-see TED Talk (see My Thoughts On A Very Intriguing Video On Motivation & Incentives).

As I wrote in that post:

He cites a lot of research debunking the effectiveness of extrinsic rewards on motivation. This isn’t news to the many of us whom have read Alfie Kohn’s excellent book Punished By Rewards. However, he seems to provide a slightly more nuanced critique.

Pink basically says that extrinsic rewards do work — for mechanical work that doesn’t require much higher-order thinking.  But he says research says that it will not work for anything that requires higher-order thinking skills and creativity.

This analysis mirrors my own experience in the classroom.  In Have You Ever Taught A Class That Got “Out Of Control”? I shared the challenges I faced last year in using extrinsic motivation to get students into a new pattern of behavior, and then moving them back toward intrinsic motivation. Using “points” was definitely effective in getting the class under control. They received them for being focused and doing their work.

However, I didn’t think students started doing their highest quality work until they were “weaned” off the point system and began to gain what Pink calls “autonomy, mastery, and purpose.” Pink says that those are the three essential elements in generating higher-order thinking skills.

One thing I did learn from the book was that behavioral scientists define these two categories into “algorithmic” and “heuristic.”    Here is how he defines the difference on page 29:

An algorithmic task is one in which you follow a set of established instructions down a single pathway to one conclusion.  That is, there’s an algorithm for solving it.  A heuristic task is the opposite.  Precisely because no algorithm exists for it, you have to experiment with possibilities and devise a novel solution.  Working as a grocery checkout cleark is mostly algorithmic.  You do pretty much the same thing over and over in a certain way.  Creating an ad campaign is mostly heuristic.  You have to come up with something new.

I was struck by the similarity of algorithmic and heuristic to what Gladwell and others have framed as “puzzles” and “mysteries.”  I’ve written more about that at Is Figuring Out How To Make Schools Better A Puzzle Or A Mystery?

Another particularly useful part of the book — related to teaching — is a good review of Carol Dweck’s research and writing, though I think you can get the same information directly from her — see What Kind Of Feedback Should We Give Our Students?; The Difference Between Praise & Acknowledgment; and Reading Logs — Part Two (or “How Students Can Grow Their Brains”).

The nice thing about Pink’s book is that he shares a lot of neat research in an accessible way.  I was also impressed by his explanation of Edward Deci’s work on self-determination theory. I also use Deci’s research in my book that will be published in April, English Language Learners: Teaching Strategies That Work (Linworth Publishing).

You can read an interview with Pink at the Wall Street Journal, which also has published an excerpt from his book.

I’d be interested in hearing other people’s reactions to the book. Please leave a comment…

December 8, 2017
by Larry Ferlazzo

The Best Social Emotional Learning Resources Of 2017

I publish a regular series called SEL Weekly Update, and I thought it would useful to readers and to me to review them and highlight the ones I think are the best of the year.

You might also be interested in The Best Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Resources.

I’ll be adding this list to All 2017 “Best” Lists – In One Place!

You might also be interested in A Collection Of My Best Resources On Student Motivation and My Best Posts On New Research Studies In 2017 – Part Two.

Here are my choices:

Q & A Collections: Student Motivation & Social Emotional Learning is the headline of one of my Education Week Teacher columns.It brings together links to all the columns on Student Motivation & Social Emotional Learning from the past six years!

New Study Suggests That Motivation & Growth Mindset Are Most Important Factors For Student Success

Yet Another Study Documents The Long-Term Harm Of Short-Term Extrinsic Motivation

Extrinsic Motivation Strikes Out Again

New Study Finds Students Less Motivated In School The More They Think Wealth & Income Inequality Is Stacked Against Them

Using The “Curiosity Gap” To Enhance Student Motivation

Intriguing Research On How To Increase Intrinsic Motivation

Here’s A Great Motivating Question For Students To Consider…

A Look Back: Video – “10 Strategies to Help Students Develop Intrinsic Motivation to Write”

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

Michelle Obama Just Explained How to Be Successful in 6 Short Words is from Inc (“Focus on what you can control.”). I’m adding it to Best Posts On Students Setting Goals.

The Importance of Academic Courage is by Ron Berger. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Importance Of “Grit”

Forget The 10,000-Hour Rule; Edison, Bezos, & Zuckerberg Follow The 10,000-Experiment Rule appeared in Medium. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The 10,000 Hour Rule & Deliberate Practice.

This Is The ‘Harry Potter’ Synopsis Publishers Rejected Over 20 Years Ago is from The Huff Post. I’m adding it to The Best Posts, Articles & Videos About Learning From Mistakes & Failures.

Using SEL to Challenge ‘Systems of Oppression’ is the headline of one of my latest Education Week Teacher columns.

Three Specific Actions I’m Taking This Year To Support Student Academic & SEL Development

Sesame Street launches tools to help children who experience trauma, from hurricanes to violence at home is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to The Best Ways For Responding To Student Trauma – Help Me Find More.

Infants Can Learn the Value of Perseverance by Watching Adults is from The Atlantic, and it seems to me it’s a reasonable extrapolation that our students can learn the same when we make mistakes and model learning from them. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Importance Of “Grit”

The Best Resources On Developing A Sense Of Community In The Classroom

The Best Ways To Talk With Someone Who Disagrees With You

The Best Resources For Learning About “Nudges” In Schools

The Best Resources On Social Capital In Schools

All My BAM! Radio Shows About Social Emotional Learning

The Best Resources On Helping Students Make Good Decisions

How children’s self-control has changed in the past 50 years is from The Washington Post. I’m adding it to Best Posts About Helping Students Develop Their Capacity For Self-Control.

Quiz Yourself: How Much Do You Know About Social-Emotional Learning is from Ed Week.

A new study finds that students who experienced Social Emotional skills training were more likely to vote than others. Read about it in Researchers Accidentally Found One Way to Help Kids Grow Up to Be Voters.

A different new study found other positive results:

Comparing students who participated in SEL programs to those who didn’t, the results showed significant benefits that persisted from one to nearly four years afterward.

How Ending Behavior Rewards Helped One School Focus on Student Motivation and Character is from MindShift. I’m adding it to  Best Posts On “Motivating” Students.

This is a list of excellent suggestions on how to promote metacognition in students. I’m adding it to Best Posts On Metacognition.

How to Work with a Bad Listener is from The Harvard Business Review. I’m adding it to The Best Ideas To Help Students Become Better Listeners — Contribute More.

Building a Modern Marshmallow Test: New Ways to Measure Social-Emotional Learning is from Ed Week.

Social and Emotional Learning for English Learners is from New America.

CARRY ON MY SON: THE SIGNAL AND THE NOISE IN COACHING is a post from Doug Lemov. It’s definitely worth reading his commentary on this great video clip. I’m adding it to The Best Ways To Use Stephen Curry & The Warriors For Teaching Social Emotional Learning Skills.

Study’s Conclusion Is Not As Useless As It Sounds: Low-Income Adolescents Are Less Likely To Attend College

Understanding these three principles will help you develop true intrinsic motivation is from Quartz and is an interview with pioneer researchers in the field. I’m adding it to Best Posts On “Motivating” Students.

How the Golden State Warriors Can Help Explain Social-Emotional Learning is from Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Ways To Use Stephen Curry & The Warriors For Teaching Social Emotional Learning Skills.

No, No, No! Do Not Grade SEL Skills!

Forget Grit. Focus on Inequality. appeared in Ed Week. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About “Grit.”

10 Incredible Lessons We Learned From Michael Phelps on Grit and Perseverance is a very accessible article that could easily be used with students, along with a simple writing prompt. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The Importance Of “Grit”

When an Argument Gets Too Heated, Here’s What to Say is from The Harvard Business Review.

UNVEILING THE MYSTERY OF METACOGNITION is from Research Schools Network. I’m adding it to Best Posts On Metacognition.

New Research Suggests That “Community Trust” Enhances Self-Control & Long-Term Thinking

Encouraging Social and Emotional Learning In the Context of New Accountability is a new report from The Learning Policy Institute. I’m adding it to The Best Summaries/Reviews Of Research On Social Emotional Learning – Let Me Know What I’ve Missed and to The Best Resources For Understanding The Every Student Succeeds Act.

Four Teaching Moves That Promote A Growth Mindset In All Readers is from MindShift. I’m adding it to The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset.”

New Report Connecting SEL To Standards Should Be On “Must-Read” List For Most Educators


I’m adding this new video from Jo Boaler to The Best Resources On Helping Our Students Develop A “Growth Mindset”:

A Look Back: “Here’s A Narrated Version Of My Slide Deck On SEL & The Common Core”

Seven Facts on Noncognitive Skills from Education to the Labor Market looks very interesting. It’s from The Hamilton Project. I’m adding it to The Best Info On Skills Employers Are Looking For In Job-Seekers.

When Practice Does Make Perfect is by Dan Willingham. I’m adding it to The Best Resources For Learning About The 10,000 Hour Rule & Deliberate Practice.

Here’s a brand-new short video of Daniel Pink discussing motivation in the context of schools. It comes from the great Brainwaves video series.

I’m also including a video that Brainwaves did with me where I share some specific strategies teachers can use to promote intrinsic motivation among students.

I’m adding this info to Best Posts On “Motivating” Students.

You might also interested in this Edutopia excerpt from one of my books. It’s been shared 41,000 times: Strategies for Helping Students Motivate Themselves

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