Monday 4 March 2024

Insights from "What Did You Ask At School Today" - Ritu Jain

 Unlocking the Keys to Motivation in Education

"Action isn’t just the effect of motivation, but also the cause of it".

We tend to think that we have to wait for inspiration or energy to hit us, and we get deflated when it doesn't come. We might think that we're doing something motivating or proactive when, in fact, we're not.

Motivation – a word that holds the power to drive us towards our goals, to fuel our aspirations, and to propel us through the challenges we face. Yet, despite its significance, understanding motivation, especially in the context of education, remains a complex endeavor. In the thought-provoking book "What Did You Ask At School Today: A Handbook Of Child Learning Book 1" by Kamala V. Mukunda," the essence of motivation is explored, shedding light on its intricacies and its pivotal role in the learning process.

The book begins with a chapter on how the human brain develops and learns from infancy. It 'peers into the brain', using insights from great scientific studies of the past as well as from modern technology, to explain neurogenesis and learning. 

"What makes us do the things we do? What motivates us to begin an activity, and keep it up until some goal is achieved, sometimes even in the face of great difficulty?" This fundamental question sets the stage for a deeper exploration into the dynamics of motivation. While the answer may vary from person to person and situation to situation, there exists a universal aspect to motivation – the inherent capacity within all human beings to be motivated.

The passage underscores an essential insight: the perception of someone as 'unmotivated' often stems from their deviation from the expectations of others. As educators, understanding this distinction is crucial, as it allows us to navigate the complexities of motivation in the classroom effectively. When students exhibit enthusiasm for learning, teaching transcends mere instruction; it becomes an enriching experience, characterized by mutual growth and fulfilment. Conversely, in the absence of motivation, even the most meticulously crafted lessons can seem futile, dissipating into a void of disinterest and frustration.

In essence, the heart of effective teaching lies in answering the pivotal question: "How do I motivate my students to learn?" This question encapsulates the essence of the educator's journey – a quest to unlock the keys to student engagement, curiosity, and intrinsic drive. It beckons us to delve into the myriad factors that influence motivation, from the allure of discovery to the impact of environment and personal agency.

At its core, motivation in education is not merely about coaxing compliance or incentivizing performance; it is about nurturing a genuine passion for learning, a thirst for knowledge that transcends the confines of the classroom. It requires fostering a supportive and empowering educational ecosystem where students feel valued, challenged, and inspired to embark on intellectual adventures.

In conclusion, "What Did You Ask At School Today: A Handbook Of Child Learning Book 1" by Kamala V. Mukunda" serves as a poignant reminder of the profound impact of motivation on the educational experience. It beckons educators to embrace the challenge of nurturing motivation in their students, recognizing it as a cornerstone of meaningful learning and personal development. 

So let us embark on this transformative journey together, fueled by the belief in the boundless potential of motivated minds.

Ritu Jain
General Manager @My Good School 

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