How can learning be made more meaningful?
This is made even more powerful when the reward itself is more intrinsic in nature rather than extrinsic. Although extrinsic rewards work to motivate our students to try hard, its been proven in numerous studies that it only works in certain situations. For students to find long term satisfaction in school and in the process of learning, we must get them to find intrinsic value in putting in the time and effort needed for success. Success is a relative term here though because what success looks like is so vastly different between our learners.
As Gladwell states, teaching is a meaningful job, so the 3 criteria from above are a great reminder to all of us to make the learning of our students as meaningful as possible. For those teachers from the northern hemisphere just about to begin a new school year, it’s perfect food for thought. For those teachers halfway through their school year in the southern hemisphere, keep working hard to meaningfully engage your students.