Monday, 25 May 2009

Motivate me, please!

This is just an interjection. I'll get to my Paolo Freire blog later.

I have been reading or, actually, re-reading the excellent 'Sometimes it's Peaceful' blog and have been struck by the trying to reach 'hard to reach' people with the magic of technology aim. Maybe it's even at 'vision' status now.

Here is how I see it. It's all about motivation, isn't it? The whole kit and caboodle of learning is dependent upon a person WANTING to learn something. If you don't have that motivation, you don't have anything.

Recently, I've been dipping in and out of a very good book about motivation which I'll share with you when I've dipped enough; however, at the moment, I can sum up the problem in an old saw which is "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink." To paraphrase, you can lead a child (or anyone) to information but you can't make him/her learn it.

You can pretty up the National Curriculum, whatever its form or content, and wrap it in nice coloured paper on a computer monitor. You can make the avatar sing to me, the avatar dance and talk and give advice, and test my 'progress' but you cannot make me learn. To learn or not to learn. That remains my private and hidden choice.

What makes a person choose to learn? A person learns when he or she chooses to.

No amount of pretty packages from Becta or the government is going to change that.


  1. I always found it odd, whilst doing my teacher training, to be told that I was supposed to motivate the children I'd be teaching. How come it was up to *me* to motivate them? How exactly do you motivate someone to do what they don't want, or aren't ready, to do?

  2. I home educate in part for this reason. At school my eldest son chose to sit in a classroom and stare into space, Apparently, he wasn't failing enough to qualify for extra help, so he was doomed to scrap along just above the failure group for all his school days.

    Same child now home educated....completely different. He (gasp) reads for pleasure and (double gasp) is interested in learning, because he now has some influence in what he is learning about.

    Just started reading your blog, will go back to the beginning and read from the start now :)