As part of his recent TED Talk titled "Education Innovation in the Slums," Charles Leadbeater (2010) stated that "education needs to work by pull, not push," and extrinsic and intrinsic motivation are needed in order to pull learners. However, as an American public school teacher, I am expected to push my students achieve at-grade-level mastery of state academic content standards, perform at a proficient level on national assessments, and graduate college well-prepared for college. Since my students are wards of the state at a residential campus designed to increase the high school graduation rate among foster youth, they are constantly pushed to meet all of these expectations.
Implementing Margaret Martinez's personalized learning model can help to pull my students into learning in combination with the intrinsic motivation of increasing their knowledge and the extrinsic motivation of independence beyond the foster care system. I cannot create a completely learner-centered environment based on my students' individual or group inquiry and/or academic needs. However, I can continue to design differentiated activities within my standards-based lessons. As Patti Shank (2007) explains, following this personalized learning model can "encourage self-motivation, self-direction, and autonomy for improved learning and performance" (226-227). By providing my students with options of what activities, tools, and text to use while mastering standards, their motivation and depth of learning will strengthen.
ResourcesLeadbeater, C. (2010). Charles Leadbeater: Education innovation in the slums | Video on TED.com. TED: Ideas worth spreading. Retrieved June 25, 2010, from http://www.ted.com/talks/charles_leadbeater_on_education.htm
Shank, Patti. (2007). The Online Learning Idea Book: 95 Proven Ways to Enhance Technology-Based and Blended Learning. Washington D.C.: Pfeiffer.