THE JOURNEY TO DISCOVER EDUTOPIA ISLAND
"Students lack motivation."
A MUST WATCH
# 1 predictor of success?
- social economics
- Social Intelligence
- or Physical Health
My name is Donna Kargel and I am the founder and CEO of Edutopia Island Inc. (E.I.). I have been an educator for over 20 years. I had the privilege of serving as a teacher, staff developer, consultant, curriculum developer and administrator in New York City's toughest inner city schools. More recently, I served as a staff developer and principal in Flagler County.
My achievements however, have little to do with my work experience, my multiple degrees in Education, or my degree in Psychology. I attribute much of my success in life to being born Dyslexic and having a fighter of a mom. My mother, never having more than a seventh grade education herself, was willing to accept that her middle child had a learning disability, but valued education enough to reject and fight against the bleak future predicted for me by school psychologists, guidance counselors, teachers and the system at the time. She accepted the countless low grades and failing data I produced, while insisting that they do not define my potential nor my future. On a daily basis she encouraged and stood firm that my limitations and destiny can only be defined by me and my determination to succeed.
You see, for me learning and achievement never came easy. Like so many others, I was held back in third grade, given an IEP, and placed in the low performing class all kids referred to as the "Dumb Class." Being self-motivated and struggling to learn in spite of the system was the only path I knew to achieve success. I developed grit and perseverance as a means to an end and quickly learned that in life hard work is not something you do to achieve, but instead expected.
MY SUCCESS IS GRIT & A "GROWTH MINDSET"
E.I. is a product of my journey as a stuggling student and a mission in life as a successful educator. It is a place where mistakes are never feared or graded but instead are expected and rewared as a proof of trying and learning taking place. They are harvested and collected like cocunuts from a palm tree and used as a quencher for later learning. E.I. is my gift to all the students and parents that have been told
"He/She has such potential, if only he/she applied themselves."
THE MESSY TRUTH ABOUT TEACHING & LEARNING
In recent years, policies driving our education system have not been rooted in research on student learning and development, but instead are borrowed from the business industry and rooted in bottom line principals such as productivity, efficiency, and financial profit. Students are being assessed and tested at a volume greater than ever before with little or no signs of improvement. While parents and teachers attribute low achievement to lack of student motivation or laziness, most agree the potential is there.
In my experience, the gap between achievement and potential is rarely due to lack of student motivation or laziness, but more a product of how we evaluate teaching and learning. While I agree that data serves a significant purpose in both business and education, I do not think in education data reflects our bottom line. Look at any school's mission and you will find that in education, our bottom line is student success and achievement in life. It is to produce life long learners and independent thinkers, not money. Placing so much emphasis on tests creates anxiety and fear of failure, which we already know has the opposite effect on learning. Learning is messy, it requires trial and error followed by reflection and correction. Having data without the quick response time build in for reflection and correction coupled with anxiety and fear of failure has proven to stiffen creativity, discourage risk taking, and most of all reduce students' motivation to learn.
Data without the quick turn around time to reflect and correct is simply trying to
“MAKE A COW FATTER BY CONSTANTLY WEIGHING IT?”
DON’T TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT, CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT OTHER PARENTS, STUDENTS, & TEACHERS SAY ABOUT OUR CURRICULUM AND CLUBS AND SEE WHY E.I. MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE!