A group of Scarlett teachers has begun meeting to discuss current books and issues related to student motivation. Sparked by a project idea proposed by music teacher, Deb Katz, the group has met monthly this spring, with Deb and UM instructor, Melissa Stull, facilitating the group. Thus far, they have read and discussed How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough (www.goodreads.com/book/show/13435889-how-children-succeed) and The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How by Daniel Coyle (thetalentcode.com/book/).
Several teachers have been trying out ideas generated from the book discussions in their classrooms. For example, one teacher has been trying to use less indirect “praise” language, instead offering students more precise feedback on their class performance. In The Talent Code, Coyle describes how changing the praise we give others – from “nice job” to “did you notice the difference in the sound the violin made when you moved your second finger slightly back?” – better supports learning.
The group’s next book is: Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink (www.goodreads.com/book/show/6452796-drive).
The group is always open to others, so feel free to contact Deb or Melissa with questions.