Two Simple Questions to Motivate

By Jaquelyn Smith, adapted from Business Insider, 1/13/16

Over the last few months, psychologist Ron Friedman, author of The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace, has been organizing an online summit on peak work performance, featuring discussions with 26 of the world’s top productivity experts….

In his conversation with Daniel Pink, the author of Drive and A Whole New Mind, they discussed a particularly useful persuasion technique. “Anyone can use this method to convince others to take action by using two simple questions to ignite motivation,” Friedman explains.

Pink said,… “The idea is that, if somebody is resistant to doing something, you ask him or her two questions.”

The first question is: “On a scale of one to ten — one meaning not at all likely, ten meaning ready to do it right now — how likely are you to [do your homework, start speaking up in class]?”

“Since these people are generally resistant to what they are doing, the answer is often very low; for example, a three,” says Pink….

[Then ask] the follow-up question: “Okay, you are a three. Why didn’t you pick a lower number?”

“That’s the key,” says Pink. “The reason that is effective is because, at that point, that person has to see why he or she is not a two….”

“What happens then — and this is the key point — is people begin articulating their own reasons for doing something. When people have their own reasons for doing something, they believe those reasons more deeply and adhere to the behavior more strongly. That’s the power of that kind of one-two punch of peculiar questions.”

And what do you do if someone says they’re a “one?”

You follow up with: “What could we do to make it a two?”…

Pink explains…. “Usually you get twos and threes. When you get a one, it usually means that there is a barrier [you have to help the person deal with] that is preventing them from making any motion at all.”

http://www.businessinsider.com/simple-questions-to-motivate-anyone-2016-1

See also in ClassWise:

Wisdom worth sharing...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

“My Best Teachers Use Social Media”

By Katie Benmar, Education Week, 4/21/15

The PowerPoint presentations most of my teachers have used are not interactive or engaging.

If teachers want to better understand how social media can affect a student’s desire to learn, they must first look inside the mind of a student….

Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Kik, Vine, and Snapchat all rule the lives of most middle and high school students…. More than nine out of every 10 teenagers has a social-media account.

To comprehend why students spend so much time on social media, the compelling appeal of Facebook, Instagram, and the like has to be understood. With that understanding, teachers should consider the possibility of using social media to enhance learning. Unfortunately, this has been rare in my experience and that of my friends….

Social-media apps are a frequent topic of discussion for my friends and me, along with school. Both subjects are relevant in our everyday lives, although they rarely intertwine. After class, we usually discuss school and homework for a few minutes before the conversation quickly turns to social media. “Wow, I’m really going to have to study for that vocab quiz!” turns into “Did you see what Sophia posted yesterday?” Understanding how to harness the power that social media have over the lives of most students is an important first step in incorporating it into teaching….

For me, the main distraction is Instagram. I’m not alone in this, either—a study from last fall reveals that 76% of teenagers have an Instagram account, while only 45% of teens use Facebook. Instagram takes little effort to maintain and is quickly accessible through my smartphone or iPad….

Learning how to use social media and technology to engage students is potentially beneficial for our learning, and some teachers have taken the first step. At my former middle school, one math teacher has her own Instagram page where she posts homework assignments and things that she taught that day in class. This way, when kids are checking their feeds, homework assignments and reminders will inevitably show up on the screen. This is a good way to get students’ attention and remind them in a relatable way about upcoming tests or homework. Although this teacher is using social media and other technology in a smart way, she is a minority in a sea of teachers and educators that I have known.

The PowerPoint presentations that most of my teachers have used in the past to instruct students are not…interactive or engaging. No wonder students’ minds wander, and they resort to social media as a means of keeping themselves entertained.

In my current high school, Smart Boards have been put into almost every classroom. These boards have seemingly limitless and fascinating capabilities, and they aren’t cheap…. But here’s the thing: Out of my six classes, only one of them uses the board on a daily basis…. The teacher who took the time to figure out the board and use the technology to his advantage has made his class one of my favorites. Watching him use the board to write out the lesson plan and make certain points in class is engaging. Seeing his thinking unfold on the board in front of us holds our attention.

The best teachers I’ve ever had have used technology to enhance learning, including using Facebook pages for upcoming projects or planned online chats about books we read in class. These teachers were interesting to listen to, and the projects were fun and challenging. Online discussions using code names replaced book reports. And the thing is, participating in a discussion with other people didn’t require any less thought about the book than writing a book report would have. It actually made me think about it and understand it better, because I was listening and responding to other people’s opinions that were backed up with evidence, instead of following the same strict book-report format that I had been required to do for years.

I hope that educators will consider experimenting more with technology and social media in their classrooms in a way that will be intellectually challenging to students….

Katie Benmar is a freshman at Roosevelt HS, Seattle WA.

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/04/22/my-favorite-teachers-use-social-media-a.html

See also in ClassWise:

Wisdom worth sharing...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

Teachers Are Intellectuals, Not Missionaries

By Amanda Ripley, Washingtonian, February 2016

Teaching is seen as a moral, not intellectual, calling. It’s time to evolve from loving teachers to admiring them.

When Lisette Partelow embarked on a new career in 2012, she had all the props of an elite Washington professional: an Ivy League degree, management responsibility, challenging work, and a paycheck that placed her—in her first year on the job—in the top 25% of US salaries. Yet when she told people about her work, the response was very different than the one that awaited her attorney husband. “The reaction was ‘Oh, that’s cute,’” she remembers. “‘You must be sweet. But kind of dull.’”

Partelow, as it happens, was a teacher. And our standard narrative about teachers has long held that they’re underpaid and underappreciated—selfless, perhaps, but not exactly aspiring masters of the universe….

Many people still talk about teachers as if they volunteer in a soup kitchen—as if the hardest part is just showing up….

Hope Harrod, DC’s 2012 Teacher of the Year, [says] “When I tell people I’m a teacher, they say, ‘Oh, my gosh—that’s God’s work. Thank you.’”… The implications wear on her. “What they’re basically saying is ‘Thank you for doing that job so that I don’t have to.’”…

Harrod says, “They’re missing that I’m not actually sacrificing to do this. I’m working extremely hard because I believe in this intellectual journey—for my students and also for me. It’s deeply engaging.”

By “intellectual journey,” Harrod means the workplace questions that teachers grapple with daily: Why is Juan insisting that the answer is 15.5 and not 18? What’s happening in his head that isn’t happening in Scarlette’s head? How can she give him the tools to take apart his own process and rebuild it, piece by piece? For teachers, these challenges are as fulfilling as designing a two-story foyer might be for an architect or arranging a complex merger might be for a corporate lawyer….

People [who] don’t understand the intellectual journey…routinely ask what Harrod plans to do next: “Are you going to be a principal? What is the plan?” She…wishes they understood that her work already challenges her in every way, even after 14 years. Do people ask a pediatrician why she isn’t gunning to become hospital chief? “The underlying implication is ‘You’re not working to your potential.’ And I am.”…

As more people see teaching as prestigious, other magical changes follow: Parents begin to trust teachers a little more. Taxpayers start to believe their money is well spent. Politicians step aside so teachers can shape what’s taught and how. Most important, kids notice, too. When they hear stories about how hard it is to become a teacher and see the respect with which teachers are treated, students start to [see] that when adults say education is important, they might actually mean it….

It’s time to evolve from loving teachers to admiring them. There is a difference.

The first year my son attended a DC public school, I received an e-mail from other parents asking for contributions toward a holiday gift for the teacher…. Weeks later, I got another message asking for donations for a stroller, because the teacher was expecting a baby. Several months later, I received a third e-mail—this time requesting end-of-year gift donations for the same teacher.

Criticizing [such generosity] felt churlish. So I paid up. But…a wad of cash isn’t the highest praise for a professional. It’s not the way we show reverence for doctors and engineers. It feels more like a tip—a way to thank teachers for putting up with their sad-sack jobs….

If more parents understood what serious teaching looked like, what would they do instead? Maybe, at parties, they’d talk to teachers about their craft. They might ask to sit in on classes instead of just coming to concerts and games. And if they understood what their children would miss, they might not want them to be late for school.

Changing the reputation of a profession takes time. “In the United States, we’ve conceived of teaching as primarily a moral calling, not an intellectual one, for two centuries,” says Dana Goldstein, author of The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession…. There’s no way for a modern society to educate all kids to high levels without also cultivating a reverence for teaching….

At [the next awards program for outstanding teachers], let it be the one where no one apologizes to teachers for the pathetic salaries they no longer earn. Let it be the year that the mayor and TV personalities feel just a touch nervous onstage, staring out at the audience, suddenly aware that they’re not the smartest people in the room.

Amanda Ripley, a senior fellow at the Emerson Collective, is author of The Smartest Kids in the World—and How They Got That Way.

 http://www.washingtonian.com/2016/01/29/stop-talking-to-teachers-as-if-theyre-missionaries/

See also in ClassWise: “5 Ways Education Will Change by 2020”

Wisdom worth sharing...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page

Ta-Nehisi Coates: The Genius of Stretching Boundaries

By Yoni Appelbaum, The Atlantic, 9/29/15 As a MacArthur Fellow, Coates’ true genius is his hunger for knowledge. [Ta-Nehisi Coates has] never stopped asking questions…. The MacArthur Foundation says it gives the grants to those who display “extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits.” There is no question of Ta-Nehisi’s merit as a writer—his […]
Wisdom worth sharing...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page
Please continue →

Differentiation Doesn’t Work

By James R. Delisle, Education Week, 1/7/15 [Michael’s Note: For a rebuttal to this commentary, see “Differentiation Does, in Fact, Work.”] Differentiation in practice is harder to implement in a heterogeneous classroom than it is to juggle with one arm tied behind your back. Let’s review the educational cure-alls of past decades: back to basics, the […]
Wisdom worth sharing...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page
Please continue →

Differentiation Does, in Fact, Work

By Carol Ann Tomlinson, Education Week, 1/28/15 [Michael’s Note: This essay rebuts James R. Delisle’s commentary, “Differentiation Doesn’t Work.”] With sustained support, most teachers can learn the skills necessary to provide classrooms that are both academically rich and academically diverse. I’ll begin with the idea that teachers don’t differentiate instruction. In fact,…I work with teachers […]
Wisdom worth sharing...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page
Please continue →

Lecture Me. Really.

By Molly Worthen, The New York Times, 10/17/15 A good lecture is an exercise in mindfulness and attention building, a mental workout that counteracts the junk food of nonstop social media. BEFORE the semester began earlier this fall, I went to check out the classroom where I would be teaching an introductory American history course. […]
Wisdom worth sharing...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page
Please continue →

The Perils of a “Growth Mindset”

By Alfie Kohn, Salon.com, 8/16/15 Focusing on a growth mindset diverts attention from what’s being taught and how. [Michael’s note: He’s done it again. Alfie Kohn goes “against the grain” by challenging a principle widely accepted in education: the growth mindset. You may agree or disagree but Kohn always makes you think.] One of the […]
Wisdom worth sharing...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page
Please continue →

Students Expect Feedback

By Annie Murphy Paul, The Brilliant Report, 9/18/15 “Frequent, low-stakes grading” builds confidence, motivation, and learning. In general, I’m skeptical of generational arguments in education: that common line of reasoning that goes, “Millennials [or Generation Y or digital natives or . . . ] have grown up doing X, so we in education need to […]
Wisdom worth sharing...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page
Please continue →

A Better Way to Promote Discussion

“Know When to Stop Talking,” by Thomas Newkirk, Education Week, 7/28/15 Exploratory talk loops back again and again, as students formulate a thought, refine it, extend it. There is an old saying, “Never miss an opportunity to keep your mouth shut.” It’s good advice for us teachers…. It’s well documented that we talk too much. When students […]
Wisdom worth sharing...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on TumblrEmail this to someonePrint this page
Please continue →