THE FIRST LESSON

March 20, 2016

Hello, my name is Phillip and I don’t teach, I help people to learn – so if you feel you don’t want to learn now, go home and come back when you’re ready. See the explanation of Extrinsic, and Intrinsic, Motivation at the end of this lesson.

Get into groups of three or four and help each other to answer the following questions:

  1. What are your short term, and long term, aims in life?
  2. What do you need to learn to achieve these aims?
  3. Is there a particular order you need, or would wish, to learn these things in?
  4. Are there things in your list which you find easier, and more difficult, to learn?
  5. Are there means of learning which you find more adapted to your personality and habits?
  6. Are there other things that need to be taken into account?

– Now, discuss your responses with all the other groups and together as a class.

–After this discussion, see if you wish to regroup (always 3-4):

Are there others who share your aims? Who have strengths where you are less strong? With who you have things in common or who make an interesting contrast?

–Now, with your group, make a map of the learning journey you are about to make: try to imagine the order of your exploration and to estimate the amount of time you will require for each ‘visit’.

– I will discuss the plan with each group individually and then present my general comments to you. I am going to be your guide, travelling with you and providing new sources when needed, answering your questions and carrying you when you get tired!

– Your homework will be to create a Facebook group for your group, and to include me in it! Also to map out your first journey, estimate the time that it will take and research the available material for mastering it and planning the order of the paths.

Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation

School is often about passing tests or getting good grades so that one can move on to the next stage; this is called ‘extrinsic motivation’. However, much research has shown that the best results are achieved from ‘intrinsic motivation: you are really good at snowboarding: because you really love it! I have a former student who has won prizes for her animations because she had a real passion for these. Also successful filmmakers and a couple that married and started their own successful business; she was a graphic designer and he more a technical computer programmer. When I went to art school, it was the period of manifestos and I arrived at school with one along with my pan for the three years learning – the teachers said “ok”, and left me free to follow my own program. In the end I got the best degree of the whole school, with a special commendation – because I was completely intrinsically motivated.

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