Sunday, June 13, 2010

Book Review: Drive by Daniel Pink

Stop whatever you are reading and go find this book. I am being serious. I find Daniel Pink and his research to be so fascinating and engaging. I have had the opportunity to hear him speak at a TAG conference and he was just as intriguing as his books. This latest book, Drive, has been mentioned on my blog several times in various postings, but this is the actual review. Dan has put together a book about what really and truly motivates us as human beings. Without getting into all the research and stats it basically comes down to the underlying concept that what most of us use as motivation in our daily lives and jobs does not work. As an educator I see the "If, then" reward system being used all the time. No wonder why things don't always work out. I think what I liked best about the book is that he did not just go and deliver research study after research study to support his claim and end the book. Rather, the whole second half of the book are ideas and strategies that we can use to work on motivation 3.0. There is a section for parents and teachers. I liked the whole homework concept that he has teachers ask themselves. I think it is a good reflection for us educators to use. However, I also realize that in a diverse school population you will never please everyone. Some parents don't want any homework because either A. They are not smart enough to help their child or B. It takes too much time away from sports, music, religion, etc. Some parents want endless hours of homework everyday because they value school and push their child(ren) to the extreme. Others just want that nice balance of their child learning and being engaged, but not being punished. I have my book post it note heavy with passages that I really liked(see image below). I want to end by sharing one quote that I really held on to in my head.

In the end this book has made an impact on me as a person, educator, and parent. I will not be combining allowance and chores as a parent. I am changing my ways of operating my classroom to try some new techniques that I brainstormed and borrowed from the book as an educator. I am changing myself and reflecting on my lifestyle and how I operate as a person. Read this book and let me know your thoughts. Did it have an impact on you? There were parts that I did read over quickly as was not really interested in certain research studies, but the overall impact of this book makes it a grade A book to read. I have also posted an interesting video clip of one of his speeches he made while a guy creates a visual to it.

Alright, now I am off to finish another mind-blowing read titled, Why Boys Fail and this book has me reciting passages out loud to my wife every 30 seconds.

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