Scholarship and learning

I read about a study today where jr. high students were sent inspiring test messages about education every day in an attempt to increase their engagement in their studies. It had no effect whatsoever on their engagement or attainment. I am curious to know the theoretical underpinnings for the study?

Audry Watters suggested that it was based on extrinsic motivation, which it looked like. When will educators learn that extrinsic motivation doesn’t really work to increase engagement. When will educators begin to look at the scholarship behind many of their favourite practises?

There is a great deal of scholarship available, and the longer I work in this field, it seems that the less relevant the scholarship becomes. Donald Clark reported on a debate he participated in where the subject was teaching Latin in schools. Once again, where is the scholarship?  Donald reported on a number of research papers completely debunking the myth that Latin is important as a foundational tool, and yet, the debate not only continues, but plays an important part in current educational reforms. Why is research ignored in education?

We live in the dawning of the age of information abundance. We have tools which, literally, allow us to pull information out of thin air. We have an abundance of scholarship about how people learn and what motivates learning. And, yet, we keep going back. We ignore what is ahead, and yearn for some golden yesterday that never really existed.

Just when I think that the world is getting to be a better place, I find myself trying to explain to someone that just because the world looks flat, it really isn’t.



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