Friday, August 14, 2009

Motivation and Parents

Over the course of the past couple days, there has been an interesting discussion on Twitter about intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and the role that parents play in motivation.

From @UrbanEducation:
RT @learnteachtech -That is the real question in extrinsic/intrinsic discussion: How do we get parents to be intrinsically motivated for ed.?

From @lisa_ray
But proud to have a child in 90th/99th percentile in math/reading. Turn off the TV!

Lisa Ray is obviously an involved parent. How many parents actually look at the scores and know what they mean. However, in my school I don't think this is the norm. So, the question becomes, how do we motivate the parents?

Ideally, each student would be intrinsically motivated, come to school just to learn, and leave wanting more and spend hours at the library. That doesn't happen too often. I love those students though.

Is extrinsic motivation the answer? I'll post on that later. It's a whole different conversation.

The key is getting everybody on the same page. Teachers already have the motivation. Students look to parents for guidance. If parents are getting students excited about learning, then students get the motivation and will be engaged in the learning process.

That sounds so simple. How do we "get" the parents? What if the child is the parent? What about when the parent is a single parent working 2 or more jobs to put dinner on the table? Or as @UrbanEducation says:
..@PuddsMom - Mandating Parent Participation...What if they are on meth, prescription drugs...alcohol? #imjustsaying

There are so many things to think about. I'll leave you with this thought, also from @UrbanEducation (but I've heard it somewhere else before):
@MzKmWoods -No I feel most parents want the best for their child or children. I think that they send the best kids that they have to school.

How do motivate the best kids that parents send to school?

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