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Motivation in Education

Lisa VanDamme

Presented at: OCON 2006

Date: Jun 30, 2006

Few educators understand that offering students the right motivation is essential to a proper education. Many hold variants of the Platonist view that knowledge is an end in itself, desirable for its own sake. On this view, no motivation is necessary. Others regard education as a means to some subjectively desirable goal. On this view, motivation involves simply tapping into the child's randomly held interests and desires.

On the objective view, education consists of training in the knowledge and skills necessary for one to function as a mature, informed, rational adult, i.e., to efficaciously pursue a fulfilled human life. Knowledge is practical and selfish—to fully grasp something is to understand its power to help one achieve values in the real world.

In this lecture, Ms. VanDamme will discuss why one should offer proper motivation to students and how to do it, illustrating this method and its results with stories from her successful school. She will discuss implications of her view for motivation in adult education.


Parts: 1

Handout: none