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1% Change…

September 20, 2007

“If they came into my class motivated to learn then I could do anything with them” – Secondary Teacher

The quote implies that the teacher’s job is to motivate so how can we change to create motivatited pupils. Given that this is essentially a sales pitch for Learning Unlimited, I have to admit that there was plenty to consider in the session.

Change One ThingConsider the pupil experience. Following the pupils is like visiting a series of foreign country… and the pupils cope very well. Would we?

Consider how motivating a teacher you are… and think about which stage of the day you might be at your most motivating! Remember, you can’t do motivation to someone… but you can encourage motivation with them!

If there is a characteristic feature of the motivational teacher, they ‘go high’… they set high expectations, they setthe bar high, and then as people begin to perform at that level, they begin to remove the scaffolding. This builds nicely into the requirements of Assessment is for Learning. We can allow the children to learn that they can do something. The achievement becomes the motivation.

It is very important to look at changing behaviour if we are to effect change. There are lots of people saying what is wrong, or what needs to be changed… but where are the solutions?

We cannot come up with simple solutions that will work in every situation… so we need to act smarter.

Behaviour Strategy

By focussing on our own behaviour and what we can change, we can help pupils focus on their behaviour and what they can change. This suggests that we should be re-assessing the importance of Social Education and its place in the school… though my more cynical side would argue that better quality lessons being delivered in Social Education would ameliorate the need to raise its importance in the curriculum.

Guy Claxton’s thoughts:
How pupils avoid learning in school:
1 – become invisible
2 – be disruptive
3 – go stupid
4 – avoid trying
5 – refuse to engage

The key thing is not to take these behaviours personally. Instead, we need to devise strategies for encouraging the pupils to think about motivating themselves. Fortunately we have a hand-out with 100 ideas to consider…. I’ll get to them later and cherry-pick a few for discussing!

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