The Learning Renaissance

Neuroscience, Behaviour and Motivation

Our friends at Edutopia, and Judy Willis in particular, have put together this short paper on using neuroscientific principles to ensure that students are engaged and motivated across the span of the academic year.

There is valuable advice here, as when the excitement of the new year wanes, so too does student motivation. This is a well known phenomena and impacts both teachers and students. However, few schools do more than dig in for the long haul and suggest that it is continuing to engage when bored and tired sorts the best learners from the also rans!

Using  a set of principles to guide and engage students is a far more sustainable proposition.

My colleague Kevin Hewitson collected together a set of principles under the unified heading of the Learning Quotient. This model pulls together a learning model comprising Behaviours, Attributes, Attitudes and Skills which define the learning and a related and powerful set of principles to lay down before learning proceeds.

These consist of key characteristics of the learning environment and the learning content. Based on his experience he found that the most effective learning environment have four key characteristics. These are:

Power – Giving students a voice in their learning and acknowledging them as unique learners.

Belonging – Developing a learning community which helps and supports learning and each individual to succeed.

Choice – To give learners choices in their pathways to success and also to help them make rational and purposeful choices.

Fun – Helping students to see the fun in learning and the excitement in achievement.

He groups these under the mnemonic PBCF – which he refers to by the aide memoire: Please Be Child Friendly. You can learn more here.

Judy Willis, focuses in some depth in the element of choice in motivating students.

Read the article here: How to Maintain Students’ Motivation for Learning as the Year Goes On | Edutopia

About educationalist04

I'm convinced we can, as a species, do much better than this if we set our minds to being much more positive and productive towards our fellow humans. The solution is learning - creating independent and autonomous learners who can problem solve, innovate and create a better more equitable and sustainable world. My books, Future Proof Your School and Re-Examining Success together with this blog, explore how better learning outcomes for all can be achieved.

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