I don’t know how many years my parents kept using the napkin holder I make in shop class when I was about ten years old. It was always fun to come home and see that wooden thing with the blue and orange decoration when I was in college.

One reason – they actually used the thing I made. It had not only a practical value but an emotional value.

Motivation is enhanced by a feeling that what I do is not just important for myself, but important for others.

School learning is seldom organized that way. It happens – the school band, the school sports team, the school theatrical company, the school debate team – are some good examples. But most school work is not organized in this way – we learn for the test, for the grade, perhaps, or for entrance at the next level in the school system. For ourselves. Maybe to please our family and relatives. Maybe to please the teacher.

This is not enough. There are so so many projects and endeavors that could improve the local community and lives of others. Therefore, it is a shame to visit schools and see so many young adults slouched over their cell phones, their computer games or just “hanging” – or filling in those work-sheets, watching a film or trying to get by with little effort. Yes, there are exceptions – of course. But you get the picture.

Feeling what I do has value for others – now there is one key factor in increasing learning and creating a learning society.

How can learning and value be interconnected?