… the one thing we have a lot of in the United States is unmotivated students.
It’s astonishing to me how many people develop their pet education theories assuming there is little or no interaction between motivation and learning, or that motivation is somehow outside the teacher’s job description. The assumption that motivation is entirely the student’s job leaves us no way to check ourselves for de-motivating pedagogy. If students don’t like sitting in warehouses, watching lecture videos, and clicking away at multiple choice questions, it’s either their own fault, or the fault of Miley Cyrus, social media, or Kids These Days, but not ours. Our theories can’t be impeached. We just need a better class of students.
Teachers — who are at-will employees who can be fired at any time — also criticized Rocketship’s intolerance for dissent, saying it contributed to the disastrous redesign that placed 100 students in a classroom.
“Teachers raised concerns,” said one ex-teacher, “and no discussion was allowed on the subject.”
Those who privately expressed doubt feel vindicated [by the removal of the warehouses] although sad, by the resulting test decline.
I was thinking that you can tell a lot about a person’s view of education by exactly when they realize the importance of motivation. From the beginning, in the middle or at the end.
I think one thing that probably strikes teachers about Gates’ quote there is how much it sounds like a cranky old teacher in the break room.
I find the idea that “today’s youth” are “unmotivated” is bizarre. When teenagers are “hooked” one topic or activity, they are darn near unstoppable.