Jumat, 23 Mei 2008

Dreams First, Education Second

was a Captain of a windjammer for motivating teenagers and witnessed the rapid change in their lives. There is no experience like being far at sea on a dark night at the helm with a full moon shining on billowing sails high above. The wind in the sails and the waves splashing on the hull gives a feeling of personal power, "I can do anything." While steering the ship, other crewmembers are on deck playing a guitar and singing. This is the time when dreams are made and realizing we can take the helm of our life and steer it to our destination.

With a dream, information is easy to process into knowledge. Money to reach our dream also becomes easier to acquire. People with a dream act differently, they seem to have meaning and purpose to their life. Bosses and customers favor positive attitudes and offered opportunity, which means higher income, usually. An upward spiral of high intensity motivation and opportunity continue to follow.

In the formal education world, most technical colleges require students to have a GED certificate or better before they can learn welding or machine shop skills. This system requires all people to be an intellectual before they are allowed to develop dreams. As a result, most would-be welders or machinists, who are technical, never have a chance. What if windjammer-training programs required all students to have a GED certificate and, required all students to read a compass and plot a course before they could come aboard? There would be empty ships, never developed dreams and lost opportunity. Experience builds dreams and a dream motivates people to learn.

Technical colleges are intended for technical people who learn differently than intellectuals. Instead of heavy academic requirements, build dreams first, and then insert academics as students discover the need for them. The concept "opportunity first then knowledge" motivates people to learn. It works aboard windjammers, why not in school?

source: motivation-tools.com/elements/develop_a_dream.htm

Develop Your Dream

Three Types of Dreams

1. Socially acceptable dreams are based on professional skills that are looked upon, by society, with high esteem. Every parent wants their child to be an equivalent of an engineer, doctor, or lawyer. There are many high paying skills such as welder or machinist; that do not require a high school education. Society views these with low esteem; therefore, they are considered low ambition. Society encourages youth to avoid these skills, yet, many blue-collar skills pay more than those needing a degree.

2. Wishful thinking is the start of all dreams. It is the starter to get the motor running. For many, wishful thinking is used for all the wrong reasons, because their dreams are based on greed, to get something for nothing in return. There is no way to learn how to buy a winning lottery ticket and opportunity does not fall into people’s lap without giving something in return such as a skill. Many professionals seem to think their learning days are over when they mastered the basics and revert to wishful thinking.

3. Socially unacceptable dreams cannot be comprehended by the public. Original ideas attract criticism; and are considered unrealistic until proven valid. Many people cannot face criticism; therefore, they avoid innovative ideas. This is where innovators find opportunity.

Seven Rules of Motivation

1 Set a major goal, but follow a path. The path has mini goals that go in many directions. When you learn to succeed at mini goals, you will be motivated to challenge grand goals.
2 Finish what you start. A half finished project is of no use to anyone. Quitting is a habit. Develop the habit of finishing self-motivated projects.
3 Socialize with others of similar interest. Mutual support is motivating. We will develop the attitudes of our five best friends. If they are losers, we will be a loser. If they are winners, we will be a winner. To be a cowboy we must associate with cowboys.
4 Learn how to learn. Dependency on others for knowledge supports the habit of procrastination. Man has the ability to learn without instructors. In fact, when we learn the art of self-education we will find, if not create, opportunity to find success beyond our wildest dreams.
5 Harmonize natural talent with interest that motivates. Natural talent creates motivation, motivation creates persistence and persistence gets the job done.
6 Increase knowledge of subjects that inspires. The more we know about a subject, the more we want to learn about it. A self-propelled upward spiral develops.
7 Take risk. Failure and bouncing back are elements of motivation. Failure is a learning tool. No one has ever succeeded at anything worthwhile without a string of failures.

source :motivation-tools.com/elements/seven_rules.htm

Jumat, 02 Mei 2008


Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management Eugene OR

The complex array of problems that contribute to low levels of student motivation makes it impossible to devise a single, programmatic approach that will suddenly turn poorly motivated students into young people hungry for knowledge. Engendering student motivation is an ongoing process that requires creativity and energy. Grossnickle (1989) provides useful charts and inventories for monitoring motivation levels and lists many helpful ideas for promoting positive attitudes about motivation.

Here are a few other steps school leaders can take to improve student motivation at the school level:

* Analyze the ways that motivation operates in your own life and develop a clear way of communicating it to teachers and students.

* Seek ways to demonstrate how motivation plays an important role in noneducational settings, such as in sports and in the workplace.

* Show students that success is important. Recognize the variety of ways that students can succeed. Reward success in all its forms.

* Develop or participate in inservice programs that focus on motivation.

* Involve parents in discussing the issue of motivation and give them guidance in fostering it in their children.

* Demonstrate through your own actions that learning is a lifelong process that can be pleasurable for its own sake.


Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management Eugene OR.

The work of Leithwood and Montgomery (1984) is especially helpful in understanding the connections between a school administrator's motivation and the level of motivation that exists among students.

According to Leithwood and Montgomery, school administrators progress through a series of stages as they become more effective. At their highest level of effectiveness, they come to understand that "people are normally motivated to engage in behaviours which they believe will contribute to goal achievement. The strength of one's motivation to act depends on the importance attached to the goal in question and one's judgment about its achievability. Motivational strength also depends on one's judgment about how successful a particular behavior will be in moving toward goal achievement."

Personal motivation on the part of the principal can translate into motivation among students and staff through the functioning of goals, according to Leithwood and Montgomery. "Personally valued goals," they say, "are a central element in the principal's motivational structure--a stimulus for action."

Establishing, communicating, and creating consensus around goals related to motivation and educational achievement can be a central feature of a school leader's own value system.


Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management Eugene OR.

School structures sometimes perpetuate feelings of low self-worth and low levels of motivation among students. "Teachers and parents worry that [students] are unmotivated," Raffini (1988) says. "In reality, they are highly motivated to protect their sense of self-worth." He suggests using individual goal-setting structures, outcome-based instruction and evaluation, attribution retraining, and cooperative learning activities to remove motivational barriers and redirect student behavior away from failure-avoiding activities in academic settings. Raffini describes how these four strategies can aid in promoting the rediscovery of an interest in learning:

Individual goal-setting structures allow students to define their own criteria for success.

Outcome-based instruction and evaluation make it possible for slower students to experience success without having to compete with faster students.

Attribution retraining can help apathetic students view failure as a lack of effort rather than a lack of ability.

Cooperative learning activities help students realize that personal effort can contribute to group as well as individual goals.

Several other researchers have criticized current instructional practices that sometimes hinder the development of motivation. Representative of these critics are Stipek (1988) and Eccles, Midgeley, and Adler (1984). Stipek makes a strong case for strengthening the degree of intrinsic motivation students feel for learning. While she does not argue for the complete elimination of extrinsic reward systems, she believes that "there are many benefits to maximizing intrinsic motivation and many ways to foster it." Challenging but fair task assignments, the use of positive classroom language, mastery-based evaluation systems, and cooperative learning structures are among the methods she suggests.

Eccles, Midgeley, and Adler argue that motivation would increase if students were asked to assume "greater autonomy and control over their lives and learning" as they proceed through higher grade levels. They note that this process rarely takes place in most schools and recommend that school leaders create an "environment that would facilitate task involvement rather than ego involvement, particularly as children enter early adolescence."


Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Educational Management Eugene OR.

School administrators can take advantage of times of educational change by including strategies for increasing student motivation. Acknowledging that school restructuring is inevitable, Maehr (1991) challenges school leaders to ensure that "motivation and the investment in learning of students will be enhanced" as a result of school reform. School leaders have seldom "considered motivation vis-a-vis the current restructuring movement," he says, "and few have considered that the school as an entity in its own right, may have effects that supersede those of individual classrooms and the acts of individual teachers."

A positive "psychological environment" strongly influences student motivation, says Maehr. School leaders can create this type of environment by establishing policies and programs that:

* stress goal setting and self-regulation/management

* offer students choices in instructional settings

* reward students for attaining "personal best" goals

* foster teamwork through group learning and problem-solving experiences

* replace social comparisons of achievement with self-assessment and evaluation techniques

* teach time management skills and offer self-paced instruction when possibl