“The surprising result of this research was that self-transcendent purpose produced the strongest driver for students to persist through challenging academic tasks.”

Jim Lang’s wonderful book Small Teaching was the first one I reached for after finishing the profoundly disturbing book iGen last week, which described in precise, scientific terms the characteristics of many of the students who are entering our classrooms this fall. Lang’s book provides many research-based strategies for reaching these students. One strategy is to provide small but regular reminders about the ways in which learning the material can lead to having a positive impact on the world. We can do this in our syllabus, on individual assignments, and in the opening and closing minutes of class.

Lang, James M. Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning. Jossey-Bass, 2016, p. 175.

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