As I read about motivation, there are several things that have stayed with me and that will influence how I work with my students this year.
*After basic needs, autonomy, purpose and mastery motivate.
*People want some control over what we do, real world tasks, and the chance to improve.
*Using extrinsic motivators, grades, stickers, candy, can actually inhibit student success.
*Praising intelligence leads to students who are less likely to take risks in their work thus inhibiting their learning and success.
*Instead, teachers should praise hard work and perseverance.
* According to Dweck, students who were praised for their hard work and perseverance wanted to show that they could continue to work hard and persevere. This had a long-term positive effect on their learning and on their lives.
*Teachers should provide positive AND negative feedback on student writing.
*The chart below shows how we can change how we work with student.
|You say . . .||You could say . . .||Why?|
|Good job!||I can really see your effort in revision.||Praising effort and process encourages writers to keep trying. (Dweck)|
|You’re a good writer.||Those drafts paid off in sentence variety and imagery.||Encouraging growth instead of fixed mindset makes for happier people in charge of their progress. (Dweck)|
|You don’t know how to use semi-colons.||You haven’t mastered semi-colons yet.||The power of yetsuggests growth and mastery. (Dweck and Pink)|
|Please revise.||Improved topic sentences and transitions between paragraphs would improve your paper’s structure and readability.||Specific reader-focused feedback might seem nitpicky, but helps writers feel purpose of revision.|
|Write a persuasive essay.||Persuade your principal/Congressman/parents to do a specific action.||Writers need a real purpose and real audience to write their best work. (Pink)|
|Read Heart of Darkness. Discuss the importance of the Congo River to this narrative.||Choose a work from the list of college-bound reading. How does geography inform the symbolic meaning of the work?||People prefer autonomy and choice. (Pink)|
Carol Dweck: Growth Mindsets and Motivation short video
Intelligence Praise Can Undermine Motivation and Performance journal article
Nurturing Intrinsic Motivation and Growth Mindset in Writing blog post from Edutopia