Jun 11, 2008

let's hear it for meaningless work!

Here's a quote from Losing Our Minds, p. 272: "Teachers commonly complain that gifted students only show effort for what interests them, as though this is a terrible thing. However, when you stop to think about it, most of us exhibit little enthusiasm for repetitive or meaningless work. [...] Teachers will have better success if they discuss the overall goals of the assignment with the children and let them make choices for how they will meet those goals, as well as how they will demonstrate that those goals have been met."

Once again, I am amazed at how well what I have been reading lately about gifted education theory meshes with my views on language acquisition and with what I know of TPRS. Of course students don't want to pay attention to boring, repetitive, meaningless work. Only those high-achievers, internally motivated and authority pleasing students would put up with that. And yet, as teachers, we are constantly surprised by students' lack of work. I especially like the part that points out that as adults we don't relish boring work either. The difference is that as adults we are given the choice to be selective, while our students are not.

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