Mindsets, biases and the implausible importance of plants: Classroom tools to unlock pupil motivation

March 12, 2014 by
Filed under: Education Matters, Social Brain 

We’re delighted to announce that the Social Brain and Education teams’ newest report was launched yesterday in Berlin. The paper, supported by Vodafone Foundation Germany, explores the application of behavioural insight in the classroom to improve learning, and is the first in the RSA’s history to be published in both English and a foreign language.

VFG launch

(L-R) Sebastian Gallander, Louise Bamfield, Nathalie Spencer, Ingrid Baumgartner-Schmitt

The report builds on recent research from behavioural science and our evolving understanding of human nature to explore how effort, motivation, learning enjoyment, and performance might be influenced in ways not often traditionally recognised. To support our research, we consulted experts in education policy and practice specialising in motivation, ran a survey of over 750 educators in England, and conducted focus groups with teachers in Germany to co-develop a set of tools and techniques which we encourage teachers to trial in their own classrooms.

The concepts covered in the report, summarised here in an earlier blog post or below in this video clip, were very well received by the German audience. Mrs Ingrid Baumgartner-Schmitt, a school principal, offered a practitioner’s perspective on the value of the recommendations provided in the report. She explained the need for teachers to be given the space and time to trial various approaches and develop their understanding of the complex processes involved in learning and motivation.

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With this report we hope to start a conversation, one that will be continued by practitioners. German speakers are encouraged to visit the www.lehrerdialog.net website, developed by the Vodafone Foundation Germany, to share their experiences of trialling out the tools and to exchange ideas about other potential tips and techniques.

If you don’t want to wrestle with the German version available here, you won’t have to wait long, as the English version will be published on the RSA website this Friday (March 14th). Mark the calendar and revisit the website for a free download!

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