Discipline is a word that conjures up images of punishment, giving up things you enjoy, doing hard or difficult things, correcting your behavior, stoic-stern-stubbornness. Whoa — no wonder we shrink and shudder at the very sound of the word! But when discipline is viewed as choosing what we want most, our goal comes into focus and we own the choice of actually moving toward that goal…
Although I know many passionate and skillful teachers, I have to say that much of what I learned as a child, I learned in spite of school, not because of it, so this quote resonated a bit with me:
The will to learn is an intrinsic motive, one that finds both its source and its reward in its own exercise. The will to learn becomes a ‘problem’ only under specialized circumstances like those of a school, where a curriculum is set, students confined and a path fixed. The problem exists not so much in learning itself, but in the fact that what the school imposes often fails to enlist the natural energies that sustain spontaneous learning (Bruner, 1966, p. 127).
As noted by Bruner, intrinsic motivation means that people act even when they’re not driven by external rewards or an absence of punishments. It’s the kind of motivation that drives…
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Excerpt: “Modern research in sociology, psychology, neuroscience, and anthropology is showing that our world does not revolve around ourselves as individuals—contrary to Enlightenment and later claims that we are inherently self-centered creatures. Instead, what we are like as individuals critically depends on how we are linked socially and emotionally with others in relational networks reaching far and wide.”