Motivating the unmotivated

books' powerAs a child, I lived in a dreamworld of books. Narnia transported me beyond the wardrope. James took me on his journey with the giant peach. I visited other countries, continents and even planets. Books were a marvel to me.

Now I marvel to see that kids don’t read. Their dreamworld is their smartphone.

Technology has put learning at kids’ fingertips — and they don’t want to learn!

Recently, I am having the kids read Hamlet, and some fall asleep in class!

The negative side in me worries we are heading back to the Dark Ages. The positive side in me is trying to strike the fire in the cold world of anti-learning of today.

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8 thoughts on “Motivating the unmotivated

  1. Hi. First off, as teachers I think we need to consider that how kids today use their smartphones does require and build-on literacy skills. I also think that being in touch with how youth today learn, live and entertain themselves is important. I was in high school 20+ years ago and I found reading Hamlet painfully boring (sorry) and yet I loved reading. When we read Sally Morgan’s ‘My Place’ I found that I was much more engaged since it was a current book and hot-topic of the time. My point is that the best way to engage youth in learning is to find authentic links between their lives and what you teach.

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  2. I second elketeaches. Perhaps it’s the method of teaching, the “tools”, that make it seem boring. (I too unfortunately found Hamlet a pain to read, although I was and still am a voracious reader.) And students do need to be able to relate to the story and characters to really enjoy it. Plus, I think most of the kids today grasp things quicker (once they’re interested), and so they often lose interest if it isn’t challenging enough for them.

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  3. Weighing in for Hamlet… and all the classics. I was reading C.S. Lewis’ biography Suprised by Joy, and he spoke of his own childhood when reading the classics meant reading them in the original language. Now that requires thought! And lots of work!! I don’t think, in general, our modern educational processes require much thought from the students, which could account for the bucking you were feeling. It’s great to hear a teacher’s heart.

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