Almost everyone’s favorite motivation story is about kids that are absolutely hopeless in school but manage, sometimes quite easily, to pass the tests necessary for a driver’s license. When you think about it, it’s quite amazing. Obviously it’s about motivation. And motivation is about need, perceived value, perceived acceptance by peers and self-regard. When those factors are in place, then mountains can be moved – or at least driver’s licenses get issued.

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Schooling is organized for “learning by plan”. In other words, older people decide what younger people should learn at what age, in what time frame, in what method and in what evaluation process. This is very, very different than learning outside of a school setting. Outside the boundaries of school we learn what we need to learn, want to learn and learn as we try to get some practical results and to solve an immediate problem.

There is a message in recognizing that. Should “learn by need” or “lean by desire” have a more important place in schools?