“When a thing ceases to be a subject of controversy, it ceases to be a subject of interest.” — William Hazlitt
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High school is wasted on teenagers.
As a teenager I could not have cared less about what we were supposed to be learning in the classroom. All I cared about was playing saxophone in the school band. Everything else was simply in the way.
It’s not that I didn’t like learning, it’s just that I was only interested in learning what I cared about—about what was clearly relevant. And the joy of playing music was certainly relevant back then.
Perhaps you can relate. As teenagers we might have spent hours upon hours perfecting our skills at music, art, sports, or even just video games. We clearly had a passion for learning, but this learning was specific only to certain contexts. In other words, we simply weren’t interested in what we weren’t interested in.
This is an obvious statement, but it does highlight an important truth while also pointing to the solution:
Make education relevant.
As a curriculum developer and workshop facilitator for the past decade, I have found this to be the single most important factor for success in learning—not just for teenagers, but for anyone looking to train their team or educate their clients.
By first tapping into the relevant motivators of your team or clients, you’ll have a much better chance of generating enough interest to inspire sustained attention and effort to achieve success in your education or training initiative.
What do the people you serve care about? And how might you make your initiatives relevant to their inherent interests?
On Monday April 26 at 7:00pm I’m hosting a FREE mini-workshop on Motivational Learning Design. Reserve your virtual seat here.
Jonas Cain is an educator, facilitator, and coach, working to engage, empower, and encourage leaders and the people they serve to experience joy.