- The Friday Mindset
- Friday Mindset #103
Friday Mindset #103
Helping students get better at studenting
It’s not often Steve and Martin are in the same country, let alone the same room, but it’s happening towards Christmas, so we thought we’d see if there’s any interest in joining us for a VESPA-themed training session.
On December 11th, we’ll both be in central London, 10:00-3:00. The day will be part an introduction to the new book - we’ll take you through 10 of the 40 new activities - plus new case studies, new implementation material… there’s loads to share and we’re excited to share it.
If you want to come along, we’ve set up an Eventbrite form below. We want to keep it relatively small, so we can all discuss and share. (Heads up: we’re having to cover event hire, travel and accommodation costs, so we can’t run it free, but it’ll be great value - there’ll be lots to learn!)
And for newsletter subscribers only - we’re sticking around 3:00-4:00 to talk about anything you want. Questions, discussion, observations, rants, anything. You’re cordially invited.
We’d love to see you there!
Something to try...
Here’s an image we often use when discussing motivation with staff. It’s adapted from Deci and Ryan’s work on extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. The relationship between these two types of motivation isn’t binary; instead, as we develop and mature, we might move gradually through the phases Deci and Ryan outline here, moving from left to right:
We start on the far left, with stickers and golden time when we’re five or six years old…but by the time we reach fifteen or sixteen, we should be making effortful attempts to regulate ourselves. Later still, we develop consciously constructed value systems.
We have to help students do that, frameworking a process of reflection and discussion. It’s essential to their success further down the line - it means they can motivate themselves to do anything because they have a sense of who they are and what they value.
That’s why this TED Talk strikes us as a little worrying. It’s from the co-founder of Duolingo. He suggests in order to make online learning successful, we need to embellish it with all the features that typify addictive social media apps: streaks, rewards, icons, badges. Make it addictive.
We don’t agree. This approach feels a little like a race to the bottom. It’s really got us thinking about reward systems in educational contexts.
Why not conduct your own audit? Ask yourself these three simple questions:
(i) what does this organisation reward?
(ii) how does it reward it?
(iii) what impact do these rewards have on future behaviour?
Something we're reading...
Linked with the above, we think you’ll find this paper really interesting. It’s clearly and simply written and there’s not a ton of statistical analysis to dig through; instead it’s a cogent and readable summary of the advantages and issues around extrinsic rewards systems.
If you haven’t got twenty minutes for the whole thing, here’s a quote which might get you thinking…
“Intrinsic motivation is a kind of motivation that does not require external rewards, which means that people perform certain behaviours because they are enjoyable and meaningful. The thing that can destroy students’ intrinsic motivation is reward addiction, especially for tangible or external rewards (based on the overjustification effect, when people are rewarded for doing something indeed “diminishes intrinsic motivation to perform that action.”) As a result, an already internally rewarding activity could turn to a less intrinsically motivated one. Students gradually fixate on the external rewarding motivation but ignore their ability to self-motivate.”
The full paper is here:
Our latest offer...
A book giveaway this week!
Last time we did one of these, the person to email us first (at [email protected]) to say ‘yes please’ was a head of sixth at a school we were due to visit later that week – so we didn’t even have to pay postage. Bonus!
Can’t imagine we’ll be that lucky this time around. We’ve got a copy of Sarah-Jayne Blakemore’s Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain to give away! We bought it mostly for chapter 10 (‘When Things Go Wrong’) and have extracted everything we needed from it, and browsed the rest. It’s good stuff, and still in decent condition.
Want it? Just hit us up at the address above and leave a school address we can post it to. If you’re the first – and anyone answering between 3:20 and about 3:35pm on the day this newsletter comes out has a chance – we’ll send it out to you.
That’s it for this week! All the best to you and yours,
Martin, Tony and Steve