One of the central questions of my work has become this: how do we make schools both more productive and more humane? It's a total copy of management thinker Peter Drucker's career question. Since the beginning, I've started every one of my professional development sessions with a slide that says, “More learning, less stress.” Productive and humane. Because if it ain't both, it don't make no sense.
In my pursuit of this question so far, I can't think of a domain that's reaped more fruit for me than student motivation. The core insight is this: What my students believe about a given learning situation highly predicts
1) whether they'll attempt to learn, and
2) the degree of care they'll bring to the learning work.
And the good news is that the beliefs that matter most are highly malleable at the classroom level — meaning there's no sense at all in decrying things I can't control, like a given student's home life.
But what happens when school is conducted entirely at home? If you had asked me that four months ago, I'd have only been able to give you a theoretical answer. Now that just about the whole world has experienced a period of emergency remote learning, I'm eager to share with you my updated thinking.
Next week Wednesday, I'm putting on a one-hour seminar about my work in this area of student motivation.
- What are the five key beliefs and how do they work under normal circumstances?
- How did the five key beliefs change during COVID closures and emergency remote teaching?
- What might we be thinking as we go about our summers and begin to look to fall?
This session will be designed for folks who:
- Are familiar with the five key beliefs and want to deepen their understanding
- Are not familiar with the five key beliefs but would like to deepen their understanding of how student motivation works and how to affect it
- Are seeking encouragement amidst uncertainty, a sense of camaraderie during isolating times, or closure on the year we've just completed
- Desire permission to relax and rejuvenate during a summer when we'll be tempted to hyper-fixate on the work that lies before us
- Want to provide their staff with some good, optional PD for the summertime
Now some of you are thinking, “Okay, Mr. Stuart, let's see the price tag.” Good news: it's priced at whatever you'd like to pay. All proceeds will support my research and development efforts this summer. As always, this blog is a group project.
So click here to learn the details and register. Scroll down for answers to common questions. Email me if anything's confusing. I really hope to see you at the seminar next week. (And if you can't catch it live, no worries — it'll be recorded.)
I thank you so much for your support and interest in the work I do. Best to you.