Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns


No student motivation

Robert J. Samuelson writes a good column on why all educational reforms have failed, or at least disappointed.  There are two reasons for this:"First, no one has yet discovered transformative changes in curriculum or pedagogy, especially for inner-city schools, that are (in business lingo) "scalable" -- easily transferable to other schools, where they would predictably produce achievement gains"  And:

"The larger cause of failure is almost unmentionable: shrunken student motivation. Students, after all, have to do the work. If they aren't motivated, even capable teachers may fail. Motivation comes from many sources: curiosity and ambition; parental expectations; the desire to get into a "good" college; inspiring or intimidating teachers; peer pressure. The unstated assumption of much school "reform" is that if students aren't motivated, it's mainly the fault of schools and teachers."  The authority of teachers and schools has eroded, as "adolescent culture has strengthened." Too bad he doesn't spend some time on this, because he's right.
Categories > Education

Discussions - 4 Comments

It's all about getting the answer right and getting the grade. Students don't need to believe in what they answer.

Homeschool. Homeschool. Homeschool. This makes the parents and the children responsible and gets the middle man out - The horrendous public school system.

Thanks for this piece, Pete. I can testify that one size does not fit all and students are poorly motivated. We need to diversify the curruculum for kids who prefer to work with their hands and save it for the academically inclined. Poor student motivation is also caused by the realization on their part that the schools are dumbing down the curriculum and are not serious. Ever since the major goal became socialization--itself a reaction, in part, to mass education--it was downhill from there. That, in turn, means that students who enroll in college are, in too many cases, woefully unprepared.

Yes, cowgirl, more homeschooling, along with charter schools, private schools, vocational schools and whatever a willing buyer and seller can agree to that is not immoral or unjust.


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