Friday, March 07, 2008

Student Motivation Pt. 4

Pedagogically Correct Volume 2, Issue 8
March 7, 2008

"Pedagogy": The art and science of teaching.
:: Calling All LifeLong Learners: Learn Science the VanDamme Academy Way!
:: Recommend Pedagogically Correct to five friends, get Lisa VanDamme's e-book, "Reclaiming Education," for free!
:: Announcement: Pedagogically Correct Blog

In this and the next newsletter, I will outline the principles that define a proper approach to motivation.

The first of these principles is that before a teacher can motivate the material of his subject, he must first carefully and explicitly identify the value of his subject. He must know, clearly and consciously, why a study of his subject is crucial to the child's life. This task is neglected for a variety of reasons. As I indicated in a past newsletter, the intrinsicist teacher does not regard his subject as having any value to the child's life; it is a duty imposed upon him, and the answer to why he should learn it begins, "Thou shalt..." The subjectivist teacher can offer no principled, absolute statement of a subject's value; value is relative, and depends on a variety of subjectively-defined, concrete goals, goals that change rapidly with the educational fashion. Even those with a more objective view of their subject's value rarely identify that value in terms so explicit that they can use it as an absolute standard guiding the approach of the course and can communicate that value explicitly to the students.

The VanDamme Academy brochure and website state concisely the essential value of each of the core subjects. On more than one occasion, a parent coming into the school has commented to me that until reading our website, he had never considered why each of these subjects is crucial. But the why-a statement of the indispensable value of this material to a person's life-is a prerequisite of a proper curriculum and of proper motivation; it should dictate the whole content and method of the course, and as I will explain, it must serve as the basic means of motivating the students.

The next important principle is that the purpose of the course must set the standard for the selection of its content. In literature, the purpose of teaching the child to experience literature as an art form sets the standard for the selection of works; the course must include those novels, plays, and stories that can achieve this purpose. If the purpose of reading is loosely defined in the teacher's mind as a way to expand the students' vocabulary, develop their ability to identify the main point of a given paragraph, and learn factual information in a fictional setting, then any textbook reader will do. If the purpose is a political agenda, of exposing students to other cultures, teaching them "tolerance," and shattering the belief that great literature is the province of dead white males, then any modern, PC novel, no matter the quality of its writing or depth of its theme (or even whether it has a theme) will do. A proper literature curriculum must be made up of literary classics for children and adults, classics that have endured because of the timelessness of their themes and the eloquence of their presentation. Exposed to great art from an early age, students become sophisticated and impassioned readers.

Next week, I will elaborate on this principle and identify one more essential key to proper motivation.

Calling All LifeLong Learners: Learn Science the VanDamme Academy Way!
Now Anyone Can Understand The Fundamental Principles of Science Better than Most Scientists
"Fundamentals of Physical Science: A Historical, Inductive Approach"
By David Harriman, Historian and Philosopher of Physics

Learn all about it at our brand new website.

Here's what other Pedagogically Correct Readers are Saying:

"I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in physics, and I was amazed at how much I learned from David Harriman's course. This course stands head and shoulders above any other course or textbook I have encountered."

"It's perfect for someone relatively new to physics like myself; it's perfect for even advanced people who want a deeper historical perspective than is usually taught...I found Mr. Harriman's physics course to be an exciting walk through the fascinating world of physics."

"I think this type of course is needed for everyone, as in my experience, it's so far above the courses I've had throughout my life as far as the actual transmittal of knowledge is concerned...In short, this course has made science and math much more intelligible for me, and was completely worth the time and cost - I highly recommend it."

I was a physics major when I entered college, yet I can easily say that my actual understanding of physics is much greater as a result of this course than I can credit to any other class I've taken.

With this course you will:
* Finally understand the world around you, the world of science and technology, in a way you never thought possible. (No, you don't have to be a math wiz.)
* Learn the thinking methods of the greatest minds in history.
* Understand what all those physics equations and formulas you once memorized really mean.
* Be inspired by scientists' amazing 2500-year quest to unlock the mysteries of the physical world.
* And have a great time in the process!

All thanks to a one-of-a-kind science teaching methodology available in no other course or textbook.

Recommend Pedagogically Correct to five friends, get Lisa VanDamme's e-book, "Reclaiming Education," for free!
Lisa VanDamme's educational career began when a group of parents, disillusioned with standard public and private schools, hired her to educate their children. In 1998, she chronicled her successes homeschooling and explained the methods that made them possible in a lecture, "Reclaiming Education." The audience, fascinated by her insights about education, and inspired by the stories she told, gave her a standing ovation. In 1999, she made "Reclaiming Education" available in written form, to the delight of thousands of readers. Since 1999, the essay version of "Reclaiming Education" has been unavailable. Until now.

For the first time in almost 8 years, we will make this remarkable work available. And we are giving it away for FREE as an e-book to those who help us grow Pedagogically Correct by recommending it to their friends. Just send enter the email addresses of at least five friends who might appreciate an invitation to receive PC--along with a brief personal note, or our standard note below. We will not add anyone to our email database without their permission.

Click here to refer five friends and get your copy of "Reclaiming Education."

Announcement: Pedagogically Correct Blog
Check out our 'blog, which will contain much (but not all) of the material we sent out in our newsletters. Spread the word!

VanDamme Academy
phone: 949-581-1881

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