Choice Theory: Internal Motivation as a Driver of Student Achievement

Date: April 11, 2011

Because the principles of Glasser’s Choice Theory and Reality Therapy are foundational to the Ombudsman program, we enjoyed reading a recent Education Week Teacher post entitled Helping Students Motivate Themselves.

Written by English teacher, ed blogger and author, Larry Ferlazzo, the piece was adapted from his new book, Helping Students Motivate Themselves: Practical Answers to Classroom Challenges.

An excerpt:

Creating Opportunities for Students to Help Make Decisions
People are more motivated and confident when they feel they have more control over their environment. Inviting students to have a voice in classroom decisions—where they sit, what day a test takes place, in what order units are studied, or even where a plant should be placed in the classroom—can help them develop that greater sense of control.

Years ago, a volunteer leader in one of our community groups was comparing two organizers with whom she had worked. She learned a lot of information from Ralph, she said. “But Johnny taught me how to think.”

Perhaps if we’re able to keep some of these concepts in mind, our students will describe us more like Johnny than like Ralph. And perhaps they’ll say we also helped them light their own fires.

Education Week subscribers can read the full article here.


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