My book, Helping Students Motivate Themselves (and its sequel, which is my summer project), is full of lessons to help students…motivate themselves, including ones on self-control and taking personal responsibility.

I’ve just figured out something that I think might be a great addition to them — the idea of “self-persuasion.”

Two articles on this topic that cover recent research have just been published — How To Encourage People To Change Their Own Minds and Changing Your Own Mind. They discuss various strategies, including imagining that you have to convince someone else about a position that you may, or may not, particularly believe in.

What a great way to combine learning what I call a “life lesson” on a topic like self-control or personal responsibility with developing skills in the genre of persuasive writing. I wouldn’t want to do this with all the “life lessons” I teach, but it seems to me they would valuable in a couple of the most important ones — important being skills and concepts that I think are critical for my students’ future and which, if learned early enough in the school year, would make all of our lives, including mine, so much better 🙂

I’d put self-control and personal responsibility as two of the most critical ones.

I’ll be giving this a try next school year…