What Summer Camps can Teach Schools


I love this.

What motivates kids (or people for that matter), autonomy and mastery? Or “performance orientation?”

We know that setting and working towards goals helps people learn and achieve. So how do we engender this in kids.

Turns out that schools can take lessons from some well-developed summer camps.

…were they interested in learning for learning’s sake, or in showing off their smarts? The first type of attitude, called a “mastery orientation,” has been linked to high levels of motivation and engagement, while the second, known as a “performance orientation,” has been tied to greater anxiety and less resilience in the face of failure.

During the summer enrichment program, the students became more apt to favor a mastery approach, endorsing statements such as “It’s important to me that I learn a lot of new concepts in science,” and discounting statements like, “One of my goals is to show others that I’m good at science,” which indicate a performance orientation.

Reward intellectual risk-taking, and avoid punishing students for failed experiments.

[via KQED]

About Sanford

Learning Disabilities specialist and Educational Consultant
This entry was posted in Camps and Residential, Computers and Software, Education Issues and Ideas. Bookmark the permalink.

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