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How Do We Restore And Nurture The Yearning For Learning We Were Born With?

Lulu makes it easy to update a book. In this, the third edition of my book of web articles, I’ve corrected more errors. I joked with my high school English teacher, Larry O’Donnell, that I could advertise the book with the headline, “Now, With Even Less Errors,” and he corrected my error. He told me that I should say, “Now, With Even Fewer Errors.” I had to laugh.

I added some more recent posts in this third edition and deleted some others. I concluded the book with a new post, How A Lazy Disinterested Prince Came To Relish Learning, Treasure Understanding, Delight in Insight, the premise for a potential book, a sort of thought experiment. I’m wondering how it could be that a lazy prince is turned around? What would the qualities of such a teacher be, who could affect such a transformation? What would the education look like that had as its goal that students would come to relish learning?

I recently found the copy of my 1992 copy of WCEA News, the West Carrollton teacher magazine I edited, and reread my interview with W. Edwards Deming. I got to ask him, “What do you think should be the aim of schools?” Deming’s initial answer was, “Well, what do you think should be the aim of schools?” After I stammered around and laughed nervously, Deming said, “They should restore and nurture the yearning for learning that the child is born with.”

I’ve reread that sentence by Deming many times. It says a lot. It says that Motivation, Not Curriculum:
The Key to School Reform
How do we get kids to relish learning? How do we activate the inner teacher in a child that will guide and push him or her throughout his or her lifetime to ever greater growth into his or her potential? To frame the aim and purpose of education in these terms is to suggest a profound transformation in educational practices. What theories and principles should guide such practices? How should the role of teacher be defined? How is a lazy prince to become motivated?

I’m sort of giving myself an assignment to make a stab at thinking though this thought experiment of the lazy prince.

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