To Want to Learn:
Insights and Provocations For Engaged Learning
Goals of the book
Motivation and learning in and out of school has long fascinated me, partly because I didn’t do well until many years after college. To make up for lost time took years! But now I was focused and got through Columbia to earn a Ph.D. in social psychology. Most of my career has been in progressive colleges like Antioch, Goddard, and The New School working with adult students. During a sabbatical at Harvard, I began a book project that explores engaged learning from diverse perspectives: educational, psychological and social philosophical citing current research on studies of mind and neurobiology. I’ve written a practical book for educators of all stripes that is grounded in serious theory and research as well as my long experience as a teacher, counselor, and academic administrator.
Who is this book for?
This book is written to idealistic educators working to create better learning settings, whether new schools and colleges, or new programs within existing schools. I write for teachers in secondary and higher education, school and guidance counsellors and academic administrators. While many examples come from higher education, the best ideas should be useful for fast-developing fields of corporate education and adult education. Finally, I hope my book appeals to public intellectuals, school board members, and parents involved in reform. When I speak about living an engaged life, the idea has broad appeal. Self-motivation, one’s effectiveness as a lifelong learner and teacher, and quality of psychological experience—all become fascinating topics that are hardly academic.
Advanced subject matter topics
For the second edition, I wrote a new chapter on motivation, revised the one on biological systems, and moved several large pieces to my web site. The reader may be interested in my Notebook as well as supplemental essays on writing and other topics that I post.
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