Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Some notes from Larry Ferlazzo's SELF-DRIVEN LEARNING

I picked up a copy of this book not too long ago, and I've been slowly making my way through it.  It seems like Mr. Ferlazzo has done a lot of homework on motivation and engagement, and he has a lot of psychology research to support his explanations of how to motivate kids.

Some of what he talks about is familiar to me, but here are some things (and the interesting names for them) that I've already learned:

- the Progress Principle - people are very motivated by seeing themselves grow or make progress toward a goal.

- the Zeigarnik Effect - once people start something, they tend to want to finish it.

- the Hawthorne Effect - people do better and work harder when they think they are being watched, and also that people will work hard to do better at something if they feel they are an important part of something (and not hard at all when they don't think they are an important part)

- the Losada line - positive feelings have a big impact on learning and retention, but criticism/negative feedback, though necessary, can counteract positive feelings.  The Losada Line is the optimum balance of positive comments and negative feedback or criticism - about three positive comments or interactions for every one criticism.

Those are some of the most interesting for me.  I was also surprised at how much of a positive effect that "gratitude letters" - letters about what students are thankful for - can have on so many things.  (Something I'm going to try next year.)

I like correlating this book with Dweck's MINDSET, so I'll try to keep updating and looking for connections.
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