Ever wish your students were more motivated? If you’re like most of us, you have tried an array of rewards and punishments to motivate kids. There’s only one problem: it doesn’t work. At least it doesn't work well enough. People (yes, even students) aren’t motivated from the outside so rewards and punishments only work to a point. We are internally motivated. That’s why it's essential to engage and inspire students to be motivated to succeed in school (and life.)

If you’re ready to move beyond the reward/punishment model and embrace a whole new way to understand motivation, I encourage you to come back regularly. It’s time to challenge the status quo and create schools and classrooms based on what really motivates behavior.

Monday, April 18, 2011

External Motivation: The Quick Fix That Doesn't Last

Lots of research seems to suggest that rewards are effective. But....most studies fail to look at the results over time. If you're interested in how effective external rewards (and other forms of control) are over time, take a few minutes to read "External Motivation: The Quick Fix that Doesn't Last." You be surprised by what you discover.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Helping Students Succeed in the Middle Grades

The middle grades. A "make or break" time for many kids. ASCD invited me to share my thoughts about helping kids succeed in the middle grades. Read what I have to say by clicking here.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Legacy of Fear: Test Scores Rise in Washington, D.C. (So Does Suspicion)

"When it seems too good, you know it might be untrue." This line, taken from the soon-to-be-released song "Untrue" by Dinosaur Feathers, seems appropriate when you look at the unbelievable (?) rise in test scores in Washington, D.C. when Michelle Rhee ruled.

Now there is controversy that I discuss in "The Legacy of Fear: Test Scores Rise in Washington, D.C. (So Does Suspicion).

Monday, April 4, 2011

Merit Pay Comes to Florida

Governor Rick Scott recently signed a bill bringing merit pay to Florida. An excited Governor Scott proudly claimed, “We are absolutely changing this country.” He has no idea how true his words are.

Despite the positive intent, merit pay decreases the chances of educators addressing the needs of the whole child. Read more here.