Great essay by Daniel Roth in Wired magazine about “geeks” and school.
“The driving force in the life of a child, starting much earlier than it used to be, is to be cool, to fit in,”….”And pretty universally, it’s cool to rebel.” …. “The best schools….are able to make learning cool, so the cool kids are the ones who get As. That’s an art.”
“Geeks get things done. They’re possessed. They can’t help themselves,” ….Get two kids excited about something and it’s harder for a third to poke fun at them.
…. If you want to reform schools, you’ve got to make them geekier.
The crucial part is that we must respect all learners and make it as cool to be an intellectual as it is to be an athlete, artist or classroom clown. And indeed break down those barriers. Maybe the artist also plays soccer likes poetry and excels at geology; the designer of computer graphics also runs cross country, loves animals and wants to be a politician.
Now combine that with a culture where what we know from science about motivation is part of an ethos of creativity and achievement. Take a look at Dan Pink at TEDTalks. He’ s gearing up for his new book Drive about rewards in business. And then apply it to the school setting.