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#1405348 - 03/28/10 07:21 AM Re: Does anyone do progress reports? [Re: keystring]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Originally Posted By: keystring
Small children are fascinated by a thing and pursue it for no other purpose. There is an inner drive. The toddler learning to walk, or get at the cookie jar, is absolutely focused on that task. The skills he acquires while scheming to get at the cookies are secondary. If as adults we could be as focussed and single-minded, the things we could achieve! But society interferes with this natural ability. We start directing people. They should not do math because it's interesting, but because they will get high marks and our approval. We call this "motivation". It isn't. That is ... the child no longer aims to excel at math. He aims to get good grades. That is something else. The math. itself is no longer interesting or important. He is disengaged from his activities. What he does at school is for the teacher or adults. His real interests and pursuits are the other things he does. It is an alienation.

We have induced kids to work toward external secondary things which are other people's goals, and not their own. The grades, diplomas, stars on the wall comparing him with other kids, are all part of it. That is his world and so it becomes his mentality. That does not mean it is human nature. IF music can be a personal interest, pursued with fascination for its own sake, then instituting that same thing will kill it the same way. That is, the kid will practice for approval, grades etc. But he himself won't be in it in the same way. Will he dare explore and play, during which he risks making mistakes, if approval and high grades are at stake? It's a sad thought.


Keystring, I agree with you completely!!!!!!

My students who ask "but why do I have to learn this?" are not at all 'motivated'! They are working to rule, working to the certificate, the percentile, and the need to be seen to be something or some other thing.

I'm only interested in the students who are interested in learning. Interested in certificate collecting? In trophy acquisition? In being ranked number 1? Well, you know, you might well achieve all those things while you learn with me, but it's unlikely you'll be interested in becoming a musician, and imagine the waste of time you will find all the activities I assign which help you develop your musical skills for life?!

The most motivated students (motivated to learn) are also motivated to achieve, but students who are only motivated to achieve don't seem to care so much for learning.........
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

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#1405361 - 03/28/10 08:15 AM Re: Does anyone do progress reports? [Re: Elissa Milne]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne

I'm only interested in the students who are interested in learning. Interested in certificate collecting? In trophy acquisition? In being ranked number 1? Well, you know, you might well achieve all those things while you learn with me, but it's unlikely you'll be interested in becoming a musician, and imagine the waste of time you will find all the activities I assign which help you develop your musical skills for life?!
Music learning is and needs to to be a much broader church. After all, you'd tell your children anything to get them out of a burning building!
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1405465 - 03/28/10 12:16 PM Re: Does anyone do progress reports? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4425
Loc: San Jose, CA
"Math teachers don't gripe about kids not doing homework. If they don't, they fail them. So most do the work."

Well, many. I recall a little scene from a college math class: a young lady was making cow eyes at the prof, trying to get him to confer a passing grade. "Mooooo," she was saying. "MOOOOOOO!!!" He was as pleasant and encouraging as could be with her (though I remember his suggesting she study), then time came to begin the class, and he broke free from the sidewalk embrace of the importuneress.

"That guy just doesn't like me--- I don't know why!" she wailed to no one in particular. Indeed, no one was listening.

It crossed my mind that I had seen her for, maybe, as many as one-quarter of the classes. I had never seen her hand-in a homework assignment. Had never seen her face in the library. Etc. I remember wondering, "How did she get into college?" It was a question I was never to answer.

However, I had observed her, many times, gossiping in the refectory with her buddies, before a table spread with greasy plates, jumbo-sized sugary soft drinks, and french fry wrappers, and no books.

She got an F in the math course (she complained loudly about it); the refectory colloquia were ungraded but she would have gotten at least a C+ if a grade had been granted.

So there, Tim. What do you have to say for structured learning now?

**********************************************************************************

depiction of the future redacted as both cruel and obvious
_________________________
Clef


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#1405489 - 03/28/10 12:44 PM Re: Does anyone do progress reports? [Re: Jeff Clef]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Do you think you could get rid of some of those stars now? Point taken.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1405524 - 03/28/10 01:25 PM Re: Does anyone do progress reports? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Lollipop Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/09
Posts: 820
Loc: Georgia
My daughter attended a symposium on "Engaged Learning" last Friday at her college. She said it was attended predominantly by faculty, but a few students were invited, mainly from the Arts fields (she is a junior, violin major).

She found it very interesting in general, and thought-provoking. Toward the end, when they were drawing conclusions, many seemed to be determining that grades were unnecessary and counter productive. She said she was beginning to get discouraged and frustrated and nervous with their conclusions, but without words to explain why. Finally, another student spoke up and said no, we need grades.

Some of the points made included:
1. Grades provide motivation during those periods when internal motivation is ebbing.

2. Grades provide objective feedback, rather than "teacher likes me" or not. For non-musical parents, it also provides information they can't get by listening. (I've previewed potential recital pieces with parents in the room, who then negate the choise because it "sounds too easy." When the kid actually begins learning it, the parents are astounded at how much trouble the student is having with it. I suspect these parents are ones at recital who thinks everyone who makes a mistake is playing something harder than those who play smoothly. No way a recital would be an effective progress report for that parent.)

3. Grades are only effective when they evaluate appropriate, and attainable goals. The gym teacher who gives all football players A's, and everyone else gets B's, gives a certain message. The band teacher who grades solely on attendance gives a certain message. The language arts teachers who assigns an essay to build creativity, and then grades on font size, gives a certain message. Therefore, before creating your evaluation rubrik, consider what you want to evaluate, and what message you want to send.

I love internal motivation. Listening to a quality youth orchestra can be exciting, because the students are playing purely for the love of it. On the other hand, take away the paycheck and annual reviews of symphony members, and I do not believe it would be an effective way to keep those professionals motivated and engaged.
_________________________
piano teacher

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#1405539 - 03/28/10 01:50 PM Re: Does anyone do progress reports? [Re: Lollipop]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
The major reason a paycheck keeps people motivated is not that these musicians need a financial incentive to make music but that they need to pay the bills one way or another, and if they spend 40-50 hours a week doing something non-musical to make a living then by necessity they have 40-50 hours less per week in which to make music.

I could make great money turning my intellect to another profession - and yet I work in music making not great money at all!! Of course, I receive other kinds of 'rewards' but grades are not part of this 'motivation'.

Students at college are already in a particular learning environment in which most of the activities would seem pointless without a grade being attached: the students are there specifically to gain a qualification! So this group is self-selecting to prefer grades, and they enculturated to find a grade providing a sense of purpose to their work.

But when discussing how humans learn it is clear that most great discoveries, great creativity and great intellectual developments occur in a grade-free environment! So what motivates these people?!
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

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#1405545 - 03/28/10 01:53 PM Re: Does anyone do progress reports? [Re: Elissa Milne]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
But when discussing how humans learn it is clear that most great discoveries, great creativity and great intellectual developments occur in a grade-free environment! So what motivates these people?!
These people are adults. The majority being grateful for being prodded at some point along their intellectual journey.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1405580 - 03/28/10 02:43 PM Re: Does anyone do progress reports? [Re: keyboardklutz]
Elissa Milne Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/11/10
Posts: 1337
Loc: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Originally Posted By: keyboardklutz
Originally Posted By: Elissa Milne
But when discussing how humans learn it is clear that most great discoveries, great creativity and great intellectual developments occur in a grade-free environment! So what motivates these people?!
These people are adults. The majority being grateful for being prodded at some point along their intellectual journey.

So.... infants/toddlers/children up to the age of about ... 8/9? 11/12? are motivated by interest in acquiring skills and learning about the world..... and adults don't need external motivation...... so are we narrowing this 'motiviation' thing down to teenagers? That matches a lot of brain development research, actually!!
_________________________
Teacher, Composer, Writer, Speaker
Working with Hal Leonard, Alfred, Faber, and Australian Music Examination Board
Music in syllabuses by ABRSM, AMEB, Trinity Guildhall, ANZCA, NZMEB, and more
www.elissamilne.wordpress.com

Top
#1405629 - 03/28/10 03:37 PM Re: Does anyone do progress reports? [Re: Elissa Milne]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Yes, that's a point - otherwise they disappear into a world of MSN and Facebook.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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