Just to be clear, we here at Motivation Matters aren’t endorsing any particular candidate in the 2008 presidential election, but we are interested in the effect the election may have on student motivation. Although, as a general rule, K-12 students can’t vote, presidential elections--especially ones that are as historic as this one is shaping up to be--have the potential to excite and motivate kids by bringing history and politics out of textbooks and into their daily lives. The video below is a one example of the way a charter school in Chicago is using the election to help students get directly involved in the democratic process.
I have to say, after I first watched the video, I was struck by how pro-Obama the administration in this school was allowed to be. When I was in high school, although we usually knew who our teachers supported, I cannot recall a time when they were ever so candid about their political views as the teachers in this video are. I don’t know whether that was because of a specific rule in our school, or if that was a personal choice each of them made. Regardless, the students in this video are obviously excited about what they’re doing and motivated to learn more about the effect this election may have on this country’s history.
How is your school addressing the election, if at all? Do you have any other examples of the way it may play out in the classroom?
A version of this news article first appeared in the Motivation Matters blog.