Today’s Students Need More Solid Motivation

Public education continues to spend an inordinate amount of time in teaching our children facts that are readily accessible on their iPhones. The motivation that drives people to do what they do remains an area untouched in the classroom. 

I think this is because opinions are not testable. The SATs and achievement tests are used as a basis for college entrance. You can’t argue with facts, but we shortchange our children by not pursuing ideas and opinions. The only thing I remember from my history classes at Stanford is an opinion offered by a professor. He said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I want you to know that the next world war will be fought not between nations, but between the haves and the have-nots.”

That prophetic statement is, for me, the basis upon which I believe we need to address the study of our world today. It is in the world of the unknown that we challenge our young people, forcing them to think outside the box. The only thing that seems to force them to learn is in the playing of games on their laptops. This is the challenge in their world today. The most-able students are constantly bored. Nothing is grabbing them. 

A textbook can become a terrible weapon in the hands of an unimaginative teacher.