The following is from a communication I received:
I really enjoyed your presentation in Margate, New Jersey. I am a strong believer in positive thinking and you verified many aspects that have been helpful to me. You specifically spoke about a Japanese classroom during your talk. Unfortunately, I did not hear what you said because I was taking notes. Would you mind telling me the benefits of a Japanese classroom?
I also enjoy your newsletters. Even though I have been teaching for over 30 years, there is still so much to learn especially from experts like you.
I responded as follows:
The JAPANESE teaching model starts by tapping into student motivation. Teachers start lessons by giving students some activity that prompts curiosity, promotes a challenge, or shares something novel. MOTIVATION IS IMMEDIATELY AROUSED because curiosity is a wonderful motivator and because students WANT to find the answer or solve the problem.
In the UNITED STATES, many teachers ASSUME that the students are already motivated to learn. So they teach a lesson and then assign follow-up work——WITHOUT GIVING ANY ATTENTION TO MOTIVATION.
Unfortunately, too many teachers do not understand that education is about motivation.
Teachers would become more effective in promoting learning if they were to first ask themselves the reason they are teaching the lesson. Then (a) share that reason with students, and (b) plan an activity that creates interest at the outset of the lesson.
Too true, I think the biggest problem in the American educational system is a motivation gap — very few kids feel that the education is inherently rewarding.