Rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels,
each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels,
and each student demonstrates learning at high levels (Blackburn, 2008).

Monday, October 17, 2011

Why Do I Have to Learn This?

Has a student ever asked, Why do I have to learn this?  Too often, we assume that students are just being disrespectful when they ask that question.  However, seeing the value in something is one of the two keys to intrinsic motivation.  We are all hardwired to look for the value in whatever we are doing.  And if we don't see the value, then we aren't as motivated. 

Imagine that your students have a radio station playing in their head--WII-FM. What's in it for me?  And two answers don't work.  Because it's on the test.  Because I said so.  It's important to find ways to help students see the value in learning.  I'd love for all students to be motivated to learn simply for the love of learning.  However, that's not true for many students. 

So we need to help them see the value in learning.  Sometimes that means showing students the relevance of the lesson, sometimes students value the relationship they have with you, or sometimes they see value in the type of activity you provide. 

How will you help students see the value of your lesson today?

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