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Learning and Motivation to Learn

I’ve been thinking about the issue of motivation and lack-of-motivation and discussing it with bachelor in educational sciences students over the last years… and I’ve always had the impression that we tend to assume that kids who don’t learn (to do) certain things at school don’t *want* to learn. Maybe they don’t want to learn these things and would want (and do want) to learn other things (those that school is notoriously not very keen of)… I do think that no kid is unwilling to learn anything… they all want to learn (to do) some things… and today, by chance, I found a Calvin & Hobbes cartoon that nicely illustrates this tendency to be willing to learn certain things that adults would not even recognize as learning or as interesting-to-learn skills.

Calvin, in the comic below, says that the only skills he has the patience to learn are those that are basically “useless”… Somehow he’s not so far off compared to many things we are taught at school… 🙂 where the usefulness is sometimes very hidden… we just learn about facts that do not connect with “real life” and learn to master certain skills and procedures that we cannot see how to use in order to solve “real problems”…

*Useless* Skills

*Useless* Skills

Thanks to Stéphanie for having the cartoon on her webpage: http://www.ginhac-family.com/steph/

Categories: Learning1
Le Dude at 12:47 on 10 November 2009

Quite so; I cannot help but feel that a large chunk of educational curriculum is presented at the wrong time in youngsters’ development. The most obvious one being language learning starting at 10 or 12.

bob.reuter at 11:47 on 15 November 2009

Le Dude, I do not really agree that language learning starts at 10 or 12 in schools… at least not in Luxembourg… you may have meant, that some specific languages are “taught” later than others, and that it may be more efficient to start earlier with all of them… Do I get you right or wrong?