As my new book* approaches its April release and my classroom practice walks its annual traverse through the universe, I got to thinking the other day, “Hmm… if I had to explain to someone the Five Key Beliefs methodology for understanding student motivation (especially secondary student motivation), how would I do it?
So, I went to the little corner of my classroom where I do these kinds of things, turned on the camera, and I let it rip.
Here's what came out.
I know that this is traditionally a newsletter that you read, but would you be willing to watch that today instead? It won't take much time.
Dave, why all the fuss on student motivation lately? Is this just book promotion stuff, man?
I'm sure that's a slice of it, but it's not the whole pie. I didn't write a book on student motivation just because I thought it was timely. I wrote a book on it because I thought it was timeless and because I saw — no, felt deeply — a crisis of dehumanization in our schools.
Our colleague Kim A. wrote this to me recently, and it sums up perfectly why I am grateful to have written this new book:
Like many schools, COVID has waged war on all fronts of education, including student academic levels, behaviors, and motivation. Our teacher turnover has been untraditionally high over the last few years, and all teachers are spinning their wheels in the face of student apathy, increased student trauma, new educational research, and pressure to maintain our high standards of excellence. Teachers have voiced that it's harder to connect to students, maintain engagement and balance work-life.
The title of your new book, The Will to Learn, caught my immediate attention, and I've already selected it as a summer book study. I cannot wait to dive in, as I think it's just what my teachers need to get inspired and encouraged this summer and return to the school year with a new, fresh perspective.
It's this gnarly cocktail of reality — pain for kids, pain for teachers, frustration and futility spoiling passion and purpose — that made me know, way before COVID happened, that the next book had to be on student motivation, had to be on “the will to learn.”
I hope today's little video helps you have hope, colleague. When students struggle with apathy — when their teachers do — it need not be terminal.
Best to you,
*Use coupon code DSJR at checkout for 20% off.
P.S. All license-holders to my new Credibility Signal Booster Mini-Course will get complimentary copies of my new book when it comes out in the spring. That includes departments, teams, and faculties that take advantage of the group viewing licenses I'm offering. See those rates, and more info on the course, here.