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Eager to Learn

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Table of Contents

Part 1 How children become motivated to learn: motivation - the key to learning; family, school, culture - powerful influences; eagerness to learn - cultivating the desire; grades, homework, and television - thorny concerns. Part 2 How to support a child's learning and solve motivational problems: building a positive parent-teacher relationship; fostering success in learning; reducing anxiety over tests and grades; overcoming boredom and indifference; encouraging effort and perseverance. Epilogue: creating friendship between a child and learning. Resources.

About the Author

RAYMOND J. WLODKOWSKI is a former professor of educational psychology who taught in universitites for more than twenty years, specializing in motivation, diversity, and professional development.


Children can learn to be ``interested in math, fascinated by science, and intrigued with art,'' begin the authors, or they can be ``interested in drugs, fascinated by violence, and intrigued with gambling.'' The difference lies in motivation. This brief book wastes no words. Since family, school, and culture must all combine to foster a love of learning, American culture should hold education in higher regard. Academic work should be the top priority, though grades should not be emphasized; they usually threaten students rather than motivate them. TV viewing should be limited and should never be used as a reward for homework completion. Above all, effort should be rewarded, no matter what the result. A succinct and thought-provoking book for parents, teachers, and educators.-- Linda Beck, Indian Valley P.L., Telford, Pa.

Addressing parents and teachers, this straightforward exploration of motivation for learning as a lifelong trait is a significant contribution to the understanding of a complex process. As the authors note, virtually all children are born with motivation to learn, but many experience the diminishing of interest as their schooling progresses, particularly throughout adolescence, accounting for the worrisome national dropout rate of 29%. Wlodkowski ( Motivation and Teaching ) and Jaynes, counselor at the University of Puget Sound, identify potential diminishers of motivation to learn, which cross ethnic and class boundaries. Among their findings is that enthusiastic involvement of parents is key; coupled with similar enthusiasm from teachers as role models, the combination leads to success for students. The proferred suggestions and guidelines, ideas and methods are practical. (Feb.)

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