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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, October 29, 2012

Reality and Perception: The US Presidential Election

Practitioners of choice theory appreciate that it is our perception of reality that matters. While each of us may claim to know reality, our understanding of reality is modulated by our senses, knowledge, and values.

Many people don’t like to hear that something as basic as reality is so nuanced. “I understand that we may see some things differently,” they say, “but surely there is an objective reality we can all agree upon.” With the US Presidential election only a little more than a week away, let me share an example of how large groups can agree about reality and still cling to very different perceptions.

Here’s an excerpt from the September 7 edition of The Colbert Report 

It’s what they agree on that divides us the most. You see, they agree that he created Obamacare. They agree that he bailed out Detroit. They agree that he passed the stimulus. That’s where the clear choice comes because all the Republicans are saying is, “Our country needed help and look what Obama did,” while the Democrats keep saying, “Our country needed help and look what Obama did.”

The words are identical. Reality is the same. Despite that, as any “informed” partisan will tell you, the all-important perceptions couldn’t be further apart.

When Americans go to the polls next week, the results will tell us much more about perception than reality.

I’m not saying that reality doesn’t matter. But I reject the simplistic mantra that “It is what it is.” More accurately, “It is what we perceive it to be.”


As always, if you enjoyed this and found it useful, please send the link to your friends. Thanks.

Bob Sullo
PO Box 1336
Sandwich, MA 02563

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