GoogleTranslate Service


Formal structure and motivation

April 13th, 2011 by Graham Attwell

Last weekend Martin Weller ran a marathon, in Llanelli. And as is his way, whilst running he reflected on the lessons of the marathon for learning. Generally I would agree with what he says:

  • You can make it achievable and manageable, but you can never make it easy.
  • It’s worth doing because it is tough.
  • The long haul is rewarding.
  • Experience pays off.
  • Never say never

­But I am far less convinced by his sixth assertion about formal structure. Martin says:

Formal structure is essential for motivation. If something is tough then you really need to be forced to do it. I could have just run my own marathon, so why pay to go to an event? Because it is a definite goal that becomes difficult to justify giving up on. For all the wonders of informal, DIY learning, the formal course provides this same legitimising and motivating structure.

My first difficulty is what he means by formal. What might be non formal or informal structure” Surely all structuring involves a degree of formalisation and yes we seek structures for iunderstanding learning and scaffolding our knowledge. But I don’t think Martin really does mean formal structure here. He seems to be referring to ‘external stuctures’ – to structures imposed form outside. Now Martin paid to go to an event, but that does nots top thousands of people, every day, structuring their own exercise and running programmes without the need for such an event. And the lack of an external course, does not stop people outside the ‘formal education system’ structuring their own learning, be it from the home, the community or in the workplace. That is not to denigrate the value of institutional courses. But “legitimising and motivating” learning can take place in many different contexts and structuring learning is ulimtely an internal and not external activity.

Comments are closed.

  • Search Pontydysgu.org

    News Bites

    Erasmus+

    The European Commission has published an annual report of the Erasmus+ programme in 2018. During that time the programme funded more than 23,500 projects and supported the mobility of over 850,00 students, of which 28,247 were involved in UK higher education projects, though only one third of these were UK students studying abroad while the remainder were EU students studying in the UK. The UK also sent 3,439 HE staff to teach or train abroad and received 4,970 staff from elsewhere in the EU.


    Skills Gaps

    A new report by the Learning and Work Institute for the Local Government Association (LGA) finds that by 2030 there could be a deficit of 2.5 million highly-skilled workers. The report, Local Skills Deficits and Spare Capacity, models potential skills gaps in eight English localities, and forecasts an oversupply of low- and intermediate -skilled workers by 2030. The LGA is calling on the government to devolve the various national skills, retraining and employment schemes to local areas. (via WONKHE)


    Innovation is male dominated?

    Times Higher Education reports that in the UK only one in 10 university spin-out companies has a female founder, analysis suggests. And these companies are much less likely to attract investment too, raising concerns that innovation is becoming too male-dominated.


    Open Educational Resources

    BYU researcher John Hilton has published a new study on OER, student efficacy, and user perceptions – a synthesis of research published between 2015 and 2018. Looking at sixteen efficacy and twenty perception studies involving over 120,000 students or faculty, the study’s results suggest that students achieve the same or better learning outcomes when using OER while saving a significant amount of money, and that the majority of faculty and students who’ve used OER had a positive experience and would do so again.


    Other Pontydysgu Spaces

    • Pontydysgu on the Web

      pbwiki
      Our Wikispace for teaching and learning
      Sounds of the Bazaar Radio LIVE
      Join our Sounds of the Bazaar Facebook goup. Just click on the logo above.

      We will be at Online Educa Berlin 2015. See the info above. The stream URL to play in your application is Stream URL or go to our new stream webpage here SoB Stream Page.

  • Twitter

    Love it - I always dreamed of writing such a first line but never had the nerve! twitter.com/evgenymorozov/…

    Yesterday from Graham Attwell's Twitter via Tweetbot for Mac

  • RT @CarolynPJackson All welcome in person or online: Academics from a Working-Class Heritage: Ghosts of Childhood Habitus, Dr Carole Binns, Uni of Bradford, Wed 19 February 2020. 12:30- 2pm @EdResLancaster @SJLancasterU @CHERELancasterU lancaster.ac.uk/educational-r…

    About 4 days ago from Cristina Costa's Twitter via Twitter for Android

  • Sounds of the Bazaar AudioBoo

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • Meta

  • Upcoming Events