As part of the state-wide implementation of the Common Core State Standards, California published an incredible document for educators- the ELA/ ELD Framework. Chapter two details “Key Considerations in the ELA/ Literacy and ELD Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment”. Within this chapter is a section on motivating and engaging learners, which identify key factors for motivating students:
- Interest (relevance)
- Choice (autonomy and self-determination)
- Success (self-efficacy or the believe that “I can do it”)
- Collaboration & real-world interactions (social relatedness and active engagement)
- Dedication (identification with being a good student, persistence, and willingness to work hard to achieve goals)
- Goal setting, self-regulation, and guided self-assessment
- How often are teachers’ interests taken into consideration when planning professional learning?
- Are the adult learners in your system given choice to create their own professional learning pathways?
- Do the adults in your system have the self-efficacy to believe they can help ALL students be successful?
- How do we provide opportunities for adults to collaborate and engage actively?
- How do adults set professional learning goals and assess their progress?
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” ~ Anonymous
A critical role of a leader is to build respectful, trusting relationships. With that foundation, people will often follow a decent leader wherever he or she may lead. However, in today’s educational climate, with the achievement gap glaring at us, and 21st Century skills not even accessible to all students and staff, it is even more important that leaders seek to motivate and engage the adult learners in their systems.
The factors listed above are a great place for a transformational, social justice-minded leader to begin when considering the professional learning needs of the adults within an educational setting.
How do you, or how will you, motivate and engage adult learners today?