Can we teach motivation to children?
Studies show that motivation in children is a crucial indicator of future success- but is motivation something that can be instilled in children?
The Fullerton Longitudinal Study examines the lives of gifted children, but takes a more unusual approach to how it defines “gifted”. Rather than simply looking at IQ, the study places an equal emphasis on “motivational giftedness”- meaning children who are exceptionally motivated. The study found that motivationally gifted children had higher academic achievement than their peers, and “were more likely to… enrol in 4-year colleges directly out of high school, obtain college degrees, and be enrolled in graduate school at age 24.” Adele Gottfried, who runs the study alongside her husband, told Quartz that “[Motivation] in itself is accounting for a certain amount of variance in achievement that goes above and beyond IQ.” Therefore, being extremely motivated as a child may be a greater signpost for success than even IQ.
Significantly, Gottfried suggests that motivation is a skill that can be cultivated, rather than something that is completely innate. Speaking with Quartz, she advises that curiosity and a passion for learning is a crucial way in way in which children can develop their motivation. As Gottfried says, “Everybody could potentially be motivationally gifted.”
Instilling this curiosity is the basis of The Wonder Why Society. Here, we want children to ask questions about the world, and guide them so they can uncover answers. Our free online learning platform provides the perfect opportunity for this. Children can uncover answers to their questions, be inspired and engage in debates- but in a fully moderated, safe environment. The Wonder Why Society has also established the Wonder Book series that aims to answer children’s difficult questions, but recognises the importance of doing this in a fun and compelling way. Indeed, our books may provide answers, but they also open up the door to more questions and more discoveries. Through this, we hope to instil a curiosity in children that will carry them not only through their academic career, but through their life. Indeed, our goal is to lead a generation of motivated children with a passion for learning.
If you would like to learn more about our Wonder Book series, then please check out our Kickstarter – https://kck.st/2uyTx5p . The first book of the series, Project Grabbity, is available to purchase now.