2What the best Teachers do: Motivating StudentsWTBCTD - Harvard University Press – Outstanding Book on Education & SocietySix Broad Questions:What do the Best College Teachers Know & Understand?How do the Best College Teachers Prepare to Teach?What do the Best College Teachers Expect of Their Students?What do the Best College Teachers Do When They Teach?How do the Best College Teachers Treat Students?How do the Best College Teachers Check Their Progress and Evaluate Their Efforts?
3your students are motivated? What is Motivation?Motivation is defined as the “purposeful engagement in classroom tasks & study to master concepts”How do you know whenyour students are motivated?This question may result in answers like “excited” or “not asleep.”Try to get attendees to understand that motivation does not necessarily mean excited.Students maybe “motivated” without the normal outward appearances we want to see.Have the attendees ever had a student that surprised him or her with a good grade or thoughtful response? Why? Probably because the teacher is looking for the “look” of a motivating student – this is constructed over time, and his idea of this “look” may differ.If the attendees get stuck, offer this analogy: You are talking Bill, a 30-year old, and he never looks you in the eyes. What does this mean? Most would say Bill is dishonest. You are talking with Sue, a 30-year old, and she never looks you in the eyes. Most would say she is shy. We “know” this from our life experience, we make assumptions based on what we have seen. It’s easier to apply what we “know” then trying to guess what non-eye contact means in each person we meet.
4Motivation – Question 1 Think about & jot down answer: Remember a class or workshopthat you attended where you wereprovoked, interested, or motivated.Why were you provoked,interested or motivated?Attendees should jot down the question to the question.Then ask them, “Why they were motivated?” You may need to give your own answer to the question to get the discussion started.Jot down their ideas on paper on the left side (right side will be filled in later)Sample answers may include:I really liked the subject. (Try to get more from this answer – what was it about the subject he/she liked)I was interested in the topic (Try to get more – why? )I wasn’t interested at first, until I realized I didn’t know X.I really wanted an “A”It was a test review, and I was afraid of flunkingWe actually did stuff (lab, computer, etc.)
5Motivation – Question 2 Think about & jot down answer: Remember a class or workshopthat you attended where you werebored, uninterested, or unmotivated.Why were you bored,uninterested, or unmotivated?Attendees should jot down the question to the question.Then ask them, “Why were you unmotivated?” You may need to give your own answer to the question to get the discussion started.Jot down their ideas on paper on the right side (the left side is already filled in later)Sample answers may include:I really hated the subject. (Try to get more – what was it that you disliked?)The professor was just so boring (Try to get more – why? Did she read from the text? Did she speak in a monotone).I knew the material already (Try to get not “challenged out of this one)I really didn’t care about the grade – it was just a fluff classI was frustrated because I didn’t understand (Try to get the student to realize that “frustrated” is different than “bored”)I was tired, sick, etc.
6Motivation – What We Know What do we know already about why we are provoked, interested, or motivated?What do we know already about why we are NOT motivated?Is this applicable to our students?Have the attendees compare the lists to discover what they already know about their own motivationMost teachers motivate in three categories:RewardsDiscussion will follow on the theory of motivation that you can tie to the lists, and answers
7Most teachers motivate by What Most Teachers DoMost teachers motivate byRewards or PunishmentsRewards/PunishmentsThis means grades or penalties
8Motivation by Rewards Rewards are based on needs Student are motivated to earn the reward (the “A”), if the student “needs” the gradeHave you ever “coasted” through a class,not caring about your gradeas long as it was passing?Ask if the attendee has ever “coasted” through a class, not caring about the grade?Ask, “Why?”Note that some “coast” through some classes, and not others. For example, a student may not care about a required course within his/her major, but care about the grade in an upper level course.Several studies point out that motivating by rewards do not work (p. 33)The point is that motivating by grades does not always work.Point out whether “grades” was on the list of things that motivated the attendees.
9Motivation – Why Rewards Do Not Always Work Success AchieversMotivated to SucceedLow Fear of FailureOver-StriversHigh Fear of FailureFailure AvoidersIndifferent to successFailure AcceptorsNot Motivated to SucceedSuccess AchieversThese are our “gifted” studentsOver StriversThese are the students that always ask about gradesRewards via grades “stress” these students, and they may drop a class if they don’t do well on the first few assignmentsFailure AvoidersThis is common with students today - It is better to be seen as lazy, then be viewed as stupidThese are the class clownsThis can also caused by societal pressure on some races/ethnicity/genderWTBTC gives a great analogy about African Americans and Hispanics in the Physics department (p. 68)Failure AcceptorsThese are our most unmotivated studentsNOTE: Just because a student is a “Failure Acceptor” in one class (biology), doesn’t mean that she is that way in other classes (English, dance, sports)Ask the attendees which category they fall into. Most professors fall into “Success Achievers” or “Over-Strivers” so it may be hard for us to understand how to reach “Failure Avoiders” and “Failure Acceptors.”
10How do the “Best College Teachers” Motivate? Students learn best (because they were motivated) when:Student were actively engaging their brains (a.k.a., active learning)How do the “Best” do this? . . .Active Learning does not mean an “activity” per se – it means getting the students to think, ponder, etc.Good Lectures can engage students in active learning just as projects can.Students learn by “constructing” knowledge – not memorizingRefer to the list from prior slides, which will hopefully, include these things
11How Do We Motivate? Tap into student expectations Tap into student valuesWhat students think is importantFocus on:Tasks that are challengingTasks that are interestingTasks that meet a goalTap into student expectationsWhat students think they can accomplishFocus on:Ability to learn is controllableEffort is controllableProfessor expects successTHE THEORYStudent ValuesWhat do students think is important or interesting?Challenging tasks = more sense of accomplishmentInteresting tasks = more like to actively engage brainMeeting a goal = maybe just getting past a lower-level class to get to the “good” stuffWhat can you do in this category (tapping into student values)?Student ExpectationsMost students believe that IQ is static, and outside their controlStudents complain about time because they believe it is uncontrollable. Remind students they can control their effort, and make choices/prioritizeLet students know that you expect successWhat can you do in this category (tapping into student expectations)?
12Natural Critical Learning Environment Students confront a problemThe students find the problem interesting or importantThe environment is challenging yet supportive, & students have a sense of controlStudents collaborate on the problemStudents know their work will be considered fairly and honestlyStudents know they can try, fail, and receive feedback before gradesThe “best teachers” tap into values and expectations by creating natural critical learning environment. This includes:(1) The problem gives the students a chance to actively use their brains.Learning cannot be transmittedLearning is constructing knowledge within a context.(2) People learn most effectively when they are trying to answer their own questions.The question should be interesting or, at least, important.Student need to know why they care about the answer.(3) Students are challenged to compare, analyze, synthesize, not listen and remember.The professor also “helps” this students discover their own answers (by questions).Giving control here means inviting students rather than commanding.They set out the “promises” of the course rather than the requirements.They explain WGAD (Who gives a damn?).(4) Collaboration need not be small groups.This is encouraging cooperating inside and outside class, not competition.(5) How would you get your students to understand their work will be considered fairly & honestly?Answer questions, give input, don’t judge(6) Give students opportunities to revise and improve their work before it is grading.We learn from our mistakes.Have attendees outline a lesson that includes each of these steps.Create a lesson using these steps
13Other Motivation Tips Get your students’ attention, and keep it! Start with the students, not your disciplineSeek commitmentsHelp students learn outside classEngage students in disciplinary thinkingCreate diverse learning experiences(1) Attention (Ask how, for each topic)Begin with a provocative questionRaise issues that most students never thought of beforeUse Case studies(2) Start with the StudentsSocratic method = begin with what student think they know, and then wrench them from that place (construct knowledge by tearing down paradigms)Begin with the simple, and get increasingly complex - Great example on p. 111 (of the train)(3) CommitmentsStudent’s choice to take the courseExpect that your students will be there, will participate, will think, and will learn(4) Learn outside classFrom one class to the next, students should grapple with an issue, and then discuss it next class.Leave them with a question to ponder(5) Disciplinary ThinkingUse class to help students reason through a problemUnderstand the difference between opinions and factsHelp students understand how to think about their thinking(6) DiversityUse different teaching methodsHave a guest speaker, use a lab room, lecture, small groups, discussions
14What is learning?CHANGING the structure & actions of NEURONS so they HOLD INFORMATION inLONG TERM MEMORY inTEMPORAL & PARIETALLOBES of the CORTEX
17Learning requires MANY neuron changes BUT two major changes are1 Changing the amounts of neurotransmitters that neurons produce2 Changing the connections between neurons
18(1) Learning requires neurons to make MORE & LESS & DIFFERENT transmitters
19(2) Learning requires neurons to make NEW LINKS & DELETE EXISTING LINKS with other neurons
20+ & - Bad News & Good News for Teachers + & -Bad News & Good News for Teachersin Current Neuroscience Findings
214 NEGATIVES & 5 POSITIVES4 important negative findings from neuroscience5 important positive findings from neuroscience
22INTRINSIC MOTIVATION TO LEARN ACADEMIC MATERIAL Bad news finding # 1WE HAVE NOINTRINSIC MOTIVATIONTO LEARNACADEMIC MATERIAL
23We are motivated to LEARN to get 4 PRIMARY BODY REWARDS: FoodWaterSexDrugs of Abuse
24And we are motivated to LEARN to get 5 Primary Social Rewards Feel pleasant touch (Rolls et al. 2003)See attractive faces (Aharon et al. 2001)Hear positive words (Hamann & Mao 2002)Interact with others (Rilling et al. 2002)Gain social status (Tooby & Cosmides, 2002)
28Stores the reward value of experience FRONTAL LOBEStores the reward value of experienceActivates behaviors leading to the most rewarded outcome
29All other complex experiences are conditioned with primary rewards $ USE OF MONEY WORKING LEARNING FOLLOWING RULES
30Motivation to Learn School Subjects is Conditioned Most cultures condition childrenwith 3 primary rewards for successful learning using foodteacher & parent approvalincreased peer social status
31THERE IS NO EVIDENCE FOR LEARNING TRANSFER Bad news finding # 2THERE ISNO EVIDENCEFORLEARNING TRANSFER
32Reviews of research show no evidence for learning transfer Barnett & Ceci (2002 )Clement & Lecoutre (2004)Dixon & Dohn (2003)Mayer (2004)
33No transfer means no free lunch NO SPECIFIC TRANSFER meansLearning to add DOES NOT make learning to divide easierNO GENERAL TRANSFER meansLearning math DOES NOT make you a better learner “in general”
34MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES Bad news finding # 3THERE ISNO EVIDENCEFORMULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES
36Gardner’s Newest Intelligences Existential = feeling at one with the cosmosMental Searchlight = people with high IQ test scores scan widelyLaser = artists and artisans “who generate the advances (as well as the catastrophes) of society”
37Gardner Admits No Supporting Data Exists for Multiple Intelligences Allix (2000) no evidenceJie-Qi Chen (2004) no evidenceGardner (2004) no evidenceGardner and Connell (2000, p. 292) conceded that “there is little hard evidence for Multiple Intelligences theory” (2000, p. 292)
38NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH REFUTES MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES There is consistent significant evidence for a general intelligence factor G that appears to be working memory —this stands against Multiple Intelligences(Colom et al. 2004)There is consistent significant evidence that brain systems for cognitive functions are overlapping —this stands against Multiple Intelligences (Lieberman, 2002)
39NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH REFUTES MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES, cont. There is evidence for specific innate cognition modules (Gallistel, 2003)1 Fast-mapping of word to object2 Person recognition of face, voice, clothes3 Obligation computation of what we owe others and what they owe us4 Imitation of all aspects of the behavior of others
40ADAPTED COGNITION MODULES STAND AGAINST MULTIPLE INTELLIGENCES Each adapted cognition module is supported by evidence of its neural operations (MI intelligences are not).A given adapted cognition module, like Mirror Neuron Tissue, operates using our vision, hearing, speaking, gesturing, social awareness—this combines parts of 4 of Gardner’s intelligences—thus negating their individual existences
41EVERY SINGLE MEMORY WE HAVE Bad news finding # 4EVERY SINGLE MEMORY WE HAVEISCOMPLETELYUNSTABLE
43You cannot step into the same river twice EVERY TIME YOU REMEMBER SOMETHING, IT IS A DIFFERENT MEMORY, BECAUSE THE ACT OF RECALL IS A RECONSTRUCTION
44RECALL TRANSFORMS OUR MEMORIES When we rememberour braintakes the memory apart,updates the memory,brings the memory to consciousnessrhen makes new proteins for a new structure for the memory as it goes back into long-term storage.
45Good news findings # 1, 2, 3, 4, 5Neuroscience research has found 5 promoter mechanisms whereby short term learning changes into long term learning
465 major promoters of learning = INNATE LEARNING PROGRAMS (Gallistel, 2003)REPETITION of INFORMATION(Squire and Kandel, 2000)EXCITEMENT at the time of learning(Cahill & Gorski, 2003; LeDoux, 2002)EATING CARBOHYDRATES at time of learning (Korol, 2002)8-9 HOURS OF SLEEP after learning (Kuriyama, Stickgold, & Walker, 2004)\
47The first promoters are innate learning programs called ADAPTED COGNITION MODULES SPECIALIZED BRAIN MODULES EVOLVED TO COMPUTE SPECIFIC INFORMATION OUTSIDE OUR CONSCIOUSNESS IN ORDER TO MAKE THAT PROCESS EASIER AND FASTER BECAUSE THOSE COMPUTATIONS HAVE BEEN IMPORTANT FOR OUR SURVIVAL
48INNATE PROGRAMS = Adapted Cognition Modules are very specific computation systems Adapted cognition modules promote quick and easy learning of certain types of information:●We learn people’s faces, typical movements, voices, clothing, odors very easily because we have FACE RECOGNITION TISSUE in our temporal lobes● We learn speech and tool use motor skills more easily because we have special MIRROR NEURONS in our frontal lobes that copy the speech and movements of others
49ADAPTED COGNITION MODULES ALSO INCLUDE COMPUTING FREQUENCIESBASIC COUNTING SKILLSCOMPUTING WHAT OTHERS OWE US AND WHAT WE OWE THEMFAST MAPPING OF WORD LABEL TO OBJECTS AND SITUATIONSCOMPUTING SOCIAL STATUS AND INSULTS TO SOCIAL STATUS
50The 2nd Learning Promoter is REPETITION Squire & Kandel (2000)Reviewed neurobiology of learningBrain forms long term memories depending on“the number of times the event or fact is repeated”
51REPETITION Squire & Kandel (2000) Reviewed neurobiology of learning Brain forms long term memories depending on“the number of times the event or fact is repeated”
52Repetition causes neurons to make MORE and LESS neurotransmitter
53Repetition causes neurons to make MORE and FEWER CONNECTIONS with other neurons
54ORIGIN OF TEACHING IS REPETITION We all unconsciously repeat important information in conversationsAll cultures teach important stories by verbal repetitionChinese teachers were taught to say everything TWICE…Most teachers discover that repetition is valuable
55The 3rd learning promoter is EXCITEMENT LeDoux has studied the brain for 30 years & reported (2002) that “we remember particularly well…those things that arouse our emotions”
57Excitement automatically increases certain neurotransmitters
58Excitement sets NEURON CONNECTIONS in the “ON” position
59The 4th learning promoter is EATING CARBOHYDRATES Greenwood and Winocur (2001) research: high-fat diet impairs brain glucose metabolism needed to form long term memoryKorol (2002) research: eating carbohydrates enhanced memory(Smith, 2003) research: lack of breakfast impairs learning
60Eating carbohydrates gives the brain glucose to organize new synapse locations
61Eating carbohydrates provides glucose to make glycoproteins that bind neurons to one another
62EXTREME DIETING IMPAIRS LEARNING A majority of young women age 12 to 30 yrs in the US are on fad diets.During periods of dieting, their learning will be significantly slowed and it will be harder for them to retain information.
63The 5th learning promoter is 8-9 HOURS OF SLEEP SPECIAL ISSUE of the journal Learning and Memory (2004 V11, N6) reports a wide range of evidence for consolidation of learning during sleep
64Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care, Macbeth ( )Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care,The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath,Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course,Chief nourisher in life’s feast.
65SLEEP IS A FREE LEARNING TOOL DREAMING SLEEP promotes differential strengthening of neurons in networks holding learned informationNON-DREAMING SLEEP activates calcium channels that biologically repeat the neural path of learning to force long term storage
66DREAMING SLEEP causes differential strengthening by altering neurotransmitters
67NON-DREAMING sleep causes new neuron CONNECTIONS to be automatically repeated
68Research shows that TOO LITTLE SLEEP or IMPAIRED SLEEP = IMPAIRED LEARNING Alcohol ingested after a day of learning inhibits dreaming sleep and impairs memory storage of the day’s informationDrugs of abuse used after learning have similar bad effects on sleep and the day’s learningA majority of teens, college students and working adults in the US are sleep-deprived
69Of the 5 major learning promoters INNATE LEARNING PROGRAMS (Gallistel, 2002)REPETITION of INFORMATION(Squire and Kandel, 2000)EXCITEMENT at the time of learning(Cahill & Gorski, 2003; LeDoux, 2002)EATING CARBOHYDRATES at time of learning (Korol, 2002)8-9 HOURS OF SLEEP after learning (Kuriyama, Stickgold, & Walker, 2004)\
70TEACHERS CAN CONTROL ONLY 2 PROMOTERS Repetition&Excitement
71IMPORTANCE OF SLEEP BUT TEACHERS CAN ALSO PERMIT AND ENCOURAGE HEALTHY CARBOHYDRATE SNACKING ANDTALK TO STUDENTS AND PARENTS ABOUT THEIMPORTANCE OF SLEEP