The issue of motivation in american schools

Hardre and Brian Lieuanan presented new information about rural Native American students in their study, "Motivational Characteristics of Native and Non-Native Students in Rural Public High Schools," that contrasts previous research and suggests changes may be happening. The study is available only by subscription. One of the findings is that Native American students have a more positive motivational profile overall than their non-Native American classmates. Native American students reported higher goals and perceptions of positive peer influences in the classroom environment.

The issue of motivation in american schools

The question of motive, as opposed to method, can lead us to rethink basic tenets of teaching and learning and to evaluate what students have done in a manner more consistent with our ultimate educational objectives.

But not all approaches to the topic result in this sort of thoughtful reflection. In fact, approaches to assessment may be classified according to their depth of analysis and willingness to question fundamental assumptions about how and why we grade.

Urban schools often face such challenges as high student poverty and mobility rates, large numbers of English language learners, and unsafe neighborhoods. Yet even in the face of these challenges, many urban schools provide a high-quality education and produce high-achieving students. Research has. The rise in college grades during the Vietnam War was well documented. In particular, one college administrator from Michigan State, Arvo Juola, collected annual average GPAs from colleges and universities across the country. Motivation is the reason for people's actions, willingness and leslutinsduphoenix.comtion is derived from the word motive which is defined as a need that requires satisfaction. These needs could also be wants or desires that are acquired through influence of culture, society, lifestyle, etc. or generally innate. Motivation is one's direction to behavior, or what causes a person to want to repeat a.

Consider three possible levels of inquiry: Here we find articles and books offering elaborate formulas for scoring assignments, computing points, and allocating final grades — thereby taking for granted that what students do must receive some grades and, by extension, that students ought to be avidly concerned about the ones they will get.

Rather than challenging grades alone, discussions at this level challenge the whole enterprise of assessment — and specifically why we are evaluating students as opposed to how we are doing so. No matter how elaborate or carefully designed an assessment strategy may be, the result will not be constructive if our reason for wanting to know how students are doing is itself objectionable.

Sorting One reason for evaluating students is to be able to label them on the basis of their performance and thus to sort them like so many potatoes.

The issue of motivation in american schools

Sorting, in turn, has been criticized at each of the three levels, but for very different reasons. At Level 1, the concern is merely that we are not correctly dumping individuals into the right piles.

At Level 2, questions are raised about whether grades are reliable enough to allow students to be sorted effectively. Indeed, studies show that any particular teacher may well give different grades to a single piece of work submitted at two different times.

Naturally the variation is even greater when the work is evaluated by more than one teacher Kirschenbaum et al. What grades offer is spurious precision, a subjective rating masquerading as an objective assessment. From the perspective of Level 3, this criticism is far too tame.

The trouble is not that we are sorting students badly — a problem that logically should be addressed by trying to do it better. The trouble is that we are sorting them at all.

Why Did The American Colonists Revolt?

Are we doing so in order to segregate students by ability and teach them separately? The harms of this practice have been well established Oakes Whatever use we make of sorting, the process itself is very different from — and often incompatible with — the goal of helping students to learn.

Motivation A second rationale for grading — and indeed, one of the major motives behind assessment in general — is to motivate students to work harder so they will receive a favorable evaluation. Unfortunately, this rationale is just as problematic as sorting.

In reality, a critical and qualitative difference exists between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation — between an interest in what one is learning for its own sake, and a mindset in which learning is viewed as a means to an end, the end being to escape a punishment or snag a reward.

Not only are these two orientations distinct, but they also often pull in opposite directions. Scores of studies in social psychology and related fields have demonstrated that extrinsic motivators frequently undermine intrinsic motivation. This may not be particularly surprising in the case of sticks, but it is no less true of carrots.

The latest breaking news on Odessa NY and Schuyler County, including sports, business, government, and people, with calendar of events and classified ads. 1) Teacher’s Unions – This is the biggie, so it belongs at the beginning. Teacher’s Unions are just as bad as all the other unions out there. The American mythology continues to insist that education is the path to the middle class for those struggling to escape the grip of poverty. However, the education that poor, urban students in public schools receive is demonstrably insufficient to make them competitive with their more advantaged, middle and upper income peers.

People who are promised rewards for doing something tend to lose interest in whatever they had to do to obtain the reward.

Studies also show that, contrary to the conventional wisdom in our society, people who have been led to think about what they will receive for engaging in a task or for doing it well are apt to do lower quality work than those who are not expecting to get anything at all.Subscribe to ASCD Express, our free e-mail newsletter, to have practical, actionable strategies and information delivered to your e-mail inbox twice a month.

To introduce students to the concept of philanthropy and have them begin thinking about how they can be intentional about their giving of money and time.


Many American critics believe that the major problem with public education today is a lack of focus on results. Students aren’t expected to meet high standards, the argument goes, and the process of education takes precedence over analyzing education results in policy-making circles.

This is a. H.S. Dropouts Say Lack of Motivation Top Reason to Quit. for an annual report on high school graduation rates and related issues. as H.S. Dropouts Say Lack of Motivation Top Reason to Quit. Yet success at the complicated task of turning around the fortunes of a failing school depends on exceptionally strong leadership, someone with a clear vision and ability to make that vision a reality.

Grading The Issue Is Not How but Why. By Alfie Kohn. Why are we concerned with evaluating how well students are doing? The question of motive, as opposed to method, can lead us to rethink basic tenets of teaching and learning and to evaluate what students have done in a manner more consistent with our ultimate educational objectives.

American Rhetoric: John F. Kennedy -- Civil Rights Addess