I came across an interesting article from Mind/Shift via Edutopia on Twitter. The article was written by two Finnish educators, Taina Rantala and Kaarina Määttä. It focused on the importance of learning being a joyful activity for students. A teacher-centered lesson might bring joy to the teacher but rarely does it do the same for the students! The teachers used an ethnographic research method and followed a cohort of students through grades 1 and 2. These educators observed that:
1) Joy was generated through choice. The authors stressed that the students should be given choice from within a set of objectives developed by the teacher. Far from an anarchy of student choice, the teachers set limits for the students to help guide their discovery.
2) Play based learning was highly engaging and joyful.
3) Self-discovery gave the students satisfaction as they came to master a concept through their own inquiry. The sense of ownership made them more passionate.
I found it fascinating that the results of this study of 6 and 7 years overlapped almost perfectly with the work of Daniel H. Pink shared in his book Drive:
Pink’s concludes through his research that monetary incentives don’t work when it comes to motivating people to succeed. People are motivated through:
1) AUTONOMY 2) ENGAGEMENT 3) MASTERY
Funny how it works, kids are little humans after all!