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Motivation and Pedagogy: Facilitating the Childhood Choice to Know

Ray Girn

Presented at: OCON 2008

Date: Jun 28, 2008

Because thinking is a volitional activity, a child in a classroom always has a choice about whether or not to exert cognitive effort. Since learning requires such effort, the importance of proper motivation in education cannot be overstated.

This course examines two major questions about motivation: (1) How should educators motivate the learning of particular subjects in particular academic settings, given a child's general underlying motivation to learn? and (2) What are the nature and limits of this general motivation? Is it different from adult motivation—and if so, in what way? How should parents and educators nurture, reward, direct, protect, heal it?

The course investigates both educational philosophers' views on motivation and examples of well-motivated class lessons. From these, we will draw conclusions about the relationships between motivation and free will, motivation and hierarchy, motivation and effective teaching methodology, and about motivation in today's cultural context.

free willeducation

Parts: 3

Handout: none

Publications:

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