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The Motivation Breakthrough: 6 Secrets to…

The Motivation Breakthrough: 6 Secrets to Turning On the Tuned-Out Child

by Richard Lavoie

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A guide for parents, educators, and caregivers on how to inspire unmotivated children identifies teaching strategies that can be applied to a variety of personality types, in a resource that explains how adults can become healthy and work-oriented role models.



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Rick Lavoie's The Motivation Breakthrough: 6 Secrets to Turning on the Tuned-Out Child addresses what may be the single most important issue facing education today -- motivation. Lavoie outlines the mistaken assumptions we make about education and then argues that the problem with our approach to the issue is that we adopt a "one-size-fits-all" approach and think that what motivates us is naturally what motivates all people. This isn't the case and the result is that teachers spend lots of frustrated hours trying to motivate kids with things that don't motivate them.

On the whole, the book does a very good job of outlining what motivates kids. Lavoie makes a great case for his point about the different ways that people are motivated. The problem comes when he proposes solutions and shows how to incorporate different ways to motivate kids based on his principles. It may be that I expected too much, but his proposed solutions are rather vague and general. I guess part of this is that each teacher needs to incorporate different motivational methods into their class based on their students' needs and their own inclinations, and in that light, I'm not sure he could have done much more.

The book does a great job of shining a light on the problem and I think educators need to look at student motivation a lot more than they generally do. If nothing else, The Motivation Breakthrough ought to start conversations across the country and get us thinking about this. When I think of the countless millions of bright kids who have been "demotivated" through our negligence as teachers, it troubles me. We spend a lot of time blaming kids, parents, society, video games, sports, and the like, but we tend to avoid looking in the mirror. We need to look in the mirror and see what we can do to help kids. We will be judged, as President Obama said in a different context, not by what we destroy but by what we build. ( )
  dmcolon | Jan 20, 2009 |
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