…we don’t have a knowledge problem…
Long ago literacy was a key issue: if you couldn’t read you were blocked from being independent because you couldn’t access for yourself the writings and thoughts of others and therefore consider them for yourself. Thought, for the illiterate, was limited. THEN there was a knowledge problem. People simply didn’t know enough. Today people have access to any information they want or need. It’s available. The problem, then, for schools shouldn’t be about information acquisition.
People want to grow, thrive, learn. There’s actually no problem here. If you’re an educator and find that “students aren’t motivated to learn”, I submit that this is a symptom of another problem.
Students want to learn if they have an appropriate environment. This is a law of life. Nature is full of living organisms that seek to thrive – this is was life IS. Life is thriving, life is growth. Human beings are at root living organisms – it’s true! So we want to thrive as well – it’s what we’re meant to do.
But, place roadblocks in the way, subvert our natural self-motivated style, and we’ll become robotic reward seekers. This is what the system of traditional education has created. By setting up a model that presents to the student a passive role where the responsibility to learn is not their own, it has created the huge problem that now sits before us. Thus, the symptom above tells us that students aren’t getting what they need as living beings. Learning and thriving are natural.
So, the problem is NOT how to motivate students and teach them, the problem is how to preserve what naturally IS. How to allow students to put to use that curiosity and drive that they come to the world with in order to develop themselves.
Okay – tomorrow I’ll really finish off the “meaning making” point begun two days ago.