New Teaching Paradigm

If you haven't done so already, please first read The Development of a Competent Person.


Introduction

This paper provides an overview of the major teaching features used on this web site. Lessons use a new approach to motivation.

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What is Often Wrong in the Way We Teach?

Students lack motivation.

What ideas are we using to motivate? What is wrong with our methods? The teaching profession has long used Maslow’s ideas to improve education. Why don’t those efforts work better? How can we improve?

This author has searched the Internet to find discussions of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs that tie into the teaching environment. Many were found. While providing some benefit, many of them seemed to this author to be superficial and fundamentally inadequate. They tend to hit somewhere on the target, but fail to score a Bull’s Eye!

In some cases the arguments presented are flawed, even presenting a clear misunderstanding of the words those authors were using.

The material found that had some merit used Maslow’s ideas to modify the classroom, teaching approach, and school environments to remove external obstacles to learning. Examples are providing proper nutrition, a feeling of ease and belonging in class, and a safe environment. See http://www.kings.edu/kdils/maslow.htm for a good example of this. Nowhere does this page attempt to directly link the material to be learned to the student’s needs (such as esteem). In other words, no attempt to use Maslow's Needs to directly stimulate learning.


This author differentiates between intrinsic motivation, and intrinsic motivation to learn.

Intrinsic motivation is internal motivation. It pulls the student toward some activity. Some web pages presented methods of instilling an initial spark of interest in some aspect of lessons. These usually provided external sources to induce intrinsic motivation, such motivation as "to be entertained," or to "satisfy a curiosity," etc. It is true these "tricks of the trade" (see Education as Entertainment) have value, for their intended purpose, but are not in themselves directly useful to instill intrinsic motivation to learn the material. He is curious, entertained, having fun. He will exhibit this motivation by paying attention, and the teacher may think he is learning. He may have absolutely no motivation to learn. He might actually learn something by accident! Maybe not, or if he does he will likely very soon forget it.

Intrinsic motivation to learn is the condition wherein the student has developed an internalized set of goals and reasons that drive him to learn anything that he perceives will be of benefit to him, even if he is not particularly interested in that subject. It is a desire to become the BEST he can be. At its highest form, the student will do more difficult work than he would otherwise, may actually go beyond the requirements of the lesson to do more than is required, and may have difficulty laying the completed assignment aside to start other assignments! This student is learning well and most likely for LIFE.

In searching the Web, no cases were found where the techniques suggested actually directly generated intrinsic motivation TO LEARN!

It was this author's conscious intention to build lesson plans to create intrinsic motivation to learn.


A New Paradigm

From birth all reasonably normal children are constantly straining to learn, and to become capable people. They have a very strong desire to grow up and be independent. (Nothing new here!) We have to consciously and very explicitly use that fact, as we attempt to guide them in their process.

The proposed new method focuses upon developing intrinsic motivation for becoming a High Quality Person. The lesson plans on this site start in the third grade. With continued guidance, and as a follow on to becoming a High Quality Person, the student comes to realize that to be that High Quality Person, his education is extremely important to HIM! It uses a perspective on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in a way that this author has not yet found anywhere else. It attempts to tie what is to be learned, either directly or indirectly, to the higher needs as described by Maslow. The student comes to recognize that the material to be learned will help him fill those needs, and how it will do so. Once this is established, other teachers can follow up on it by tying their material into the intrinsic motivation to learn. This will likely require some well thought out in-service training, to propagate the methods to other teachers.

 

Major Features The new paradigm has these major features.
(Clicking on an item will take you to a section, below, that expands upon that concept.)
  1. Generally define what goals are, their importance, and how to reach them.
  2. Define what Life-Goals are, and why they are important.
  3. Define what Life-Rules are, and how to use them to reach Life-Goals.
  4. Establish Life-Goals that are in line with Maslow’s higher levels of Needs:
  5. A strong approach to developing a real sense of self-actualization.
  6. An effort to Expand the Student’s Self-Interest Horizon to include his schoolwork.
  7. A "Relevancy Section" in each lesson plan.
  8. Expanding the student’s Time Horizon into his own future.


 Amplifications of the Features

 

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Generally define what goals are, their importance, and how to reach them.

 

This happens in the 3rd grade curriculum. Jump here to see the overview, or the lesson plans. They are laying the groundwork to be built upon in grade 4.

Return to Major Features List


Define what Life-Goals are, and why they are important.

 Here we enter into a concept that is very powerful. Unfortunately it is not familiar territory to most people. Begins in the 4th grade.

Return to Major Features List


Define what Life-Rules are, and how to use them to reach Life-Goals

Again, this is a powerful concept and also unfamiliar territory for most people. Fourth Grade.

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Establish Life-Goals that are in line with Maslow’s higher level Needs

(4th grade)
  • Need for belonging. Extrapolated to belonging to a good and positive group. 
  • Need for esteem: Achievement, reputation, competency, power, self-respect, earned respect from others.
  • Need for self-actualization: To be in charge of one’s own life and destiny.

Return to Major Features List


A strong approach to developing a real sense of self-actualization.

 
The student learns about being a "self-made" person. He learns he really does have a lot of ultimate power. Through the wisdom he brings to bear upon his choice (teacher guides him!), he determines the quality of his own future! A sense of feeling ALIVE and in control! The major paper dealing with this is Choices. The theme reappears often. Also see Self-Made Person Lesson Plan (aphg5-2)

Return to Major Features List


Expand the Student’s Self-Interest Horizon to include his schoolwork.

We attempt to do this so that each new Enlightened Self Interest is firmly and cognitively connected either to one of Maslow’s higher Needs, or to another Enlightened Self-Interest already established. Learning must occur in layers that are logically and sequentially laid down, each on top of and cognitively tied to the previous and related layer. Failing to do this plants the seed that can lead to loosing the new material.

See paper “Will the 'Real' Self Made Person Stand Up? for further details.
See Respect Lesson Plan aphg5-7, for an example.

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Development of a "Relevancy Section" in each lesson plan that attempt to tie the material to be taught either directly or indirectly back to one or more Maslow-based Life-Goal, that the student has embraced and taken as his own. In the lesson plans being developed on this web site, attention is given to providing a strong relevance statement, to be communicated to the students. Some of that has been done, but needs to be completed and improved. These attempt to tie the material to be taught either directly or indirectly back to a Maslow-based Life-Goal, that the student has embraced and taken as his own. Here are links to a few samples, found in this site’s lesson plans.

See Respect Lesson Plan aphg5-7, and
Your Choices Determine Your Future! Lesson Plan aphg5-1

 

for examples.

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Expanding the student’s Time Horizon. We attempt to make his future become real in his thinking, and in terms of Maslow’s higher Needs.

Too many students do not have a good perspective of time. They live in the "Here and Now." To them the future does not exist in any real cognitive form. However, if he is brought to think about his future, then he will want to prepare for it. That desire to prepare becomes an intrinsic motivating force (linked to Maslow’s Needs) to acquire the tools he will need: i.e., to learn them. The paper Choices also deals with this. The theme reappears often.
Return to Major Features List

 

Additional search words or phrases for this page

teaching strategy

teaching strategies

teaching methods

teaching techniques

instructional strategies

instructional strategy

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