Issue of the Month
In his article Irresponsible Professors and Lonely Students, Britanica Blog writer Peter Augustine Lawler claims students today “embrace, by default, the most radical versions of the modern idea of freedom — called postmodern relativism on the left and libertarian nonpreferentialism on the right. Students, more than ever, are free to choose in all areas of their lives in college. They have almost limitless freedom in choosing what to study, and hardly anything moral or intellectual is required of them. What few requirements that are imposed on students are so broad and flexible as to point them in no particular direction at all. In the name of freedom and diversity, little goes on in college that gives them any guidance concerning who they are or what to choose.” What do you think? Do you think "the strong and the beautiful “hook up,” the weak and the ugly are condemned to sexile, the clever use their cunning to master the fraudulent arts of networking and teambuilding or to become trendy, marketable intellectuals, and the timid and decent are shown the vanity of their slavish moral illusions." ?
Motivating Yourself and Your Students
In my university workshops, I frequently hear the complaint that “My students don’t want to participate in …, they prefer passive learning. How do you motivate them to try something new?" Several writers this month were also wondering about that question.
My English Pages reminds us of the importance of motivation in Motivation- Be motivated to motivate!
Brain Blogger asks how do we motivate individuals to change their behaviors in Changing the Error of Our Ways.
On a similar theme, in Teaching with Depression: Is There Any Way Out?, Jesse Scaccia asks about teacher self motivation and the black dog of depression.
Stale Cheerios discusses the concept of motivation in her article ORCA: Part 2. Steve Martin. When teaching an animal (or human), how do we use motivation? Are we doing things that actively engage the animal in the learning process and inspire them to want to learn? Or are we forcing the learning upon the unwilling animal?
My Creativity Blog asks Why Organize A School Art Show? as a great example of motivation.
Invent Creativity looks at the other side of motivation, inspiration in Creativity Inspired Through Culinary Arts.
Many of the students I work with are very extrinsically motivated by marks, competition for advanced placement or fear of punishment because our schools use a behaviourist model of motivation. In my ideal vision of the world, I would like to see more intrinsic motivation that is based in a lifelong love of learning and a curiosity about how things work. John Keller’s ARCS model for designing content that motivates is one way of thinking about how we might make that change.
Active Learning in Practice
Alistair Bomphray defends small schools ability to work with the whole student in Do small schools lie to their students? This article continues the theme of what is the definition of learning.
Miss Kim Dance Blog wonders about the lack of opportunity to use imagination at preschool and says Let them Play.
Big in Japan talks about preparing non-English learners for English language speech and debate contests but his ideas apply to helping students prepare for public speaking in many situations.
Living the Scientific Life asks "Would you like to play a new computer game and help scientists analyze protein chemistry -- at the same time? Baker is using Foldit to help him analyze the structure of proteins, because kids and adults are a lot smarter at this than supercomputers."
Myscha Theriault addresses one of the most difficult learning styles to incorporate into your classroom in Three Easy Ways to Provide Tactile Instruction for Parts of Speech.
Gen-Y Blogger, a university student has been very prolific this month and shared Shakespeare - How I became a fan, The best books to build your SAT vocabulary and World Affairs Challenge Competition.
Joe's Non-Netbook was my greatest inspiration of the month! Sometimes we make the assumption that our way of learning is the best way. This short video shook my assumptions about books.
Meet Me At the Corner has kid friendly instructional videos.
Teaching that Sticks is compiling Interactive Writing Sites.
Debt Free Scholar shares 20 free online courses from traditional colleges and universities.
Learn-gasm shares 100 Tips, Tools, and Resources for Librarians on Twitter.
Check out the Delicious tags to the right. I have over 900 resources at every level and in most disciplines.
Thank you to all the people who submitted articles this month. Submit your blog article to the next edition of active learning blog carnival using our carnival submission form before May 1st.