Thursday, March 24, 2011

To create life-long learners

I would say that most schools include this as part of their mission statement: To create life-long learners. Are we creating life-long learners by controlling students through rewards and punishment? By getting temporary compliance through external control? Are we just getting in the way of students full potential using rewards and punishment? Are we giving our students choice to meet outcomes? Or do we have to bribe them or punish them for not doing what we ask? Are we turning them off from school and learning through bribes and punishment? Are we creating life-long learners? It’s extrinsic motivation vs intrinsic motivation. What do you do?


  1. It makes me think of Alan November's TEDxTalk where he shared about the young writer who asked, "Do I write for my teacher or do I write for the world?" She chose the world, writing for Fan Fiction, and the teacher did not like it. Why is it that kids must adapt to adults rather than the other way around?

  2. David, excellent and thought provoking point you raise.

  3. I never noticed how often you do see that line in a mission statement, yet you never see strategies directed towards it or masures of it's success (not that everything that counts can be counted).

    My job this weekend is to start preparing to present my school's growth plan to the district office, and reading your post has completely changed my approach to the presentation.

    Thanks for the paradigm shift.

  4. I have a theory that schools can create life-long learners by teaching students how to ask great questions. I'm in the process of writing this up and blogging about it. I've posted part one already and some more parts should follow in the next week or so.