Shifting Student Motivation from Making Dollars to Making Change
Rachel Watson |
• April 2019
Dream with me, about how the world would change if students were motivated by their heartfelt purr of passion. Instead, parents, educators, mentors, and peers often motivate students to get the grade, make bank, or to just find a steady job with a good insurance plan. Remodeling learning environments to center on the World’s greatest problems and setting students free to find solutions to these real-world problems can give them permission to prioritize making change over making money. Rather than watching the minutes tick away, hoping class will end, learners wish for a time-turner so that they could do more, learn more, and contribute more. What prevents all of education from moving to these authentic learning landscapes that free learners to be motivated by their passions? Partially, it is lack of trust in learners. We have accepted hypotheses about human behavior that cause us to believe that learners don’t know what is good for them. Our research supports the counter-hypothesis, that people are aware of their competence, and encourages us to believe that if we work together for a world-changing goal, we are likely to find a way to achieve this goal!