The third title in this highly acclaimed series covers engagement and motivation, which are essential for effective learning. As Sue Cowley says in her contribution, “If we want children to learn, they need to feel engaged with what they are learning, and motivated to learn it. These two facets of good teaching often cause confusion: some feel this is the same as saying teachers must make their lessons ‘fun’. But that is a misreading of what is meant by these terms. You can feel fully engaged with something that you find difficult, if you see the purpose in what you are doing. You can feel highly motivated to struggle on with something hard, if you envisage a positive end result. Learning is often jolly hard work, and not much fun at all, but part of our job as teachers is to help children to stick at it.” So, as Debbie Kidd says, “[We] should be thinking about what makes effort worth making. For human beings, a sense of purpose is key. Daniel Pink’s work on motivation shows that the opportunity to have autonomy over a process, to feel that it has value (beyond monetary gain) and that there is a chance of mastering the skills necessary, lead to a strong sense of motivation. Making time to build children’s capacity to engage with challenging ideas and concepts; giving them a structure to build a vocabulary with which they can articulate those ideas, and imbuing the whole with a sense of moral urgency and purpose leads to highly effective learning. In doing this, we create the only mantra we really need as teachers. Make it Matter. If you do, they will learn.
Suitable for all educationalists, including teachers and school leaders
Contributors include: Dr Bill Rogers, Mick Waters, Paul Dix, Bill Lucas, Andy Griffith, Andy Cope, Mike Gershon, Richard Gerver, Sue Cowley, Ian Gilbert, Conrad Wolfram, Dr Debra Kidd, Phil Beadle, Vic Goddard and John Davitt.