Every truth has four corners: as a teacher I give you one corner, and it is for you to find the other three. Confucius

18 April 2011

Hi Everyone,

Thought I would share an example of the beauty of intrinsically motivated learning.....

My 14 year old daughter Alexandra has recently being trudging through her year 10 maths requirements. She's been doing well enough, but has been far from inspired. That was until a week or so ago when she came to me and said:

Mum, could I study business maths this year because I've just been doing some on the computer and I really like it. It's something I can actually use in my life, and it makes sense.

Since then,
Alexandra has been doing maths everyday without prompting and is mastering levels that are more appropriate (acc to curriculum content) to a level or so above what she's been doing.

I am not saying that maths is her strongest suit or that she is wanting to be a mathematician, but she is doing well because it is meaningful to her and she is motivated to learn it for a purpose
that has more value to her personally than a tick or a letter on a piece of paper.

I think this is worth noting because if I add up the number of hours I spent during my childhood mindlessly churning off irrelevant information it is staggering. I was always surprised when I got a particularly 'good' or 'bad' grade because to me it was not something I could predict according to how much of myself I had invested in the exercise. Consequently it meant very little to me in a larger sense.

Eventually I learned to do what I needed to achieve fairly reliable grades but this exercise always seemed like jumping through hoops to me and I believe I lost some of my joy in learning and creative drive for a while as a result.

For all of these reasons, I'm pleased that
Alexandra is taking the time to decide what is right for her and what will serve her best for her future learning.

I'll finish with a quote by
Johann Gottfried Von Herde:
Without inspiration the best powers of the mind remain dormant. There is a fuel in us which needs to be ignited with sparks.

Talk Soon, Cynthia x