Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Using motivation with students - and a great motivator for teachers

Two big fans of high school psychology: Dr. Lee Gurel and Dr. Nancy Budwig (Clark University)
My favorite part* of writing this blog is when I get feedback from readers who enjoy reading the site regularly, so I was thrilled last year when I learned that Dr. Lee Gurel looks forward to reading THSP in his inbox each day that we publish. If you don't know who Dr. Gurel is - and you should - he's an amazingly generous man who is a big fan of high school psychology and who has contributed his time and resources to fund a number of amazing programs from the APA/Clark University workshop each summer to revisions of the TOPSS lesson plans to funding for travel so that teachers can attend conferences and workshops. He is a great motivator for high school psychology teachers! For more on Lee Gurel, check out this nice interview with him (Giving Back to Education) in the June 2010 issue of the APA Monitor.

So I was thrilled to open my inbox last week and find an e-mail from Dr. Gurel with a tip for me - a link to a guest post in the New York Times Learning Network from teacher Larry Ferlazzo on student motivation. I have read Mr. Ferlazzo many times on technology issues, but I didn't know he was a social studies teacher and I'm now wondering if he teaches psychology! His column is about ways to build intrinsic motivation, and he includes references to the work of:
  • Edward Deci and Dan Pink on motivation
  • Carol Dweck on mindset
  • Walter Mischel and Jonah Lehrer on the marshmallow experiment
  • Roy Baumeister on self-control
Check out Ferlazzo's column and share your thoughts in the comments below. And thanks again, Lee, for the great tip!
--posted by Steve

*P.S. Okay, it's my second favorite - my favorite is getting fabulous ideas from my fellow psychology teachers!


Albert said...

It is a great little article. I would add that we need to teach kids that it is OK to be wrong as well. As a society we tend to focus on those monetary rewards and then failures have way too much of an impact on our lives.
Build self esteem and let kids know that it is normal to make mistakes and experience set backs in life. That easy route of offering rewards all of the time has a long term negative impact.

Rob Mc said...

What a great post! About a great person! Dr. Gurel is a fantastic friend to high school psych, and this article pulls together several of my favorite authors on student motivation issues. I also like (and often use) the "RSA animation" version of one of Daniel Pink's talk: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6XAPnuFjJc