On personal (institutional?) motivation

It was recommended to me to read “Learning to Labor” by Paul Willis by Aaron Schmidlin, who is now, I believe, a doctor in education from the Ohio State University (or close to it). Though I have been unable to locate the book form of this, I have read a chapter in the book “Theories of Social Order” entitled and by the same as the aforementioned recommendation among a collection of other chapters on similar themes.

It was offered to me as material to consider what to teach fourth year high schoolers enrolled in mathematics who have little to no interest in furthering their education, I believe, though Mr. (Dr?) Schmidlin often replies to my massive queries with one sentences. The article outlines the normal behavior of groups of individuals who are ‘fighting the system’ created by mandatory education, how this seems to have been reinforced from their parent’s habits and professions which might be a balancing system of social control enacted and supported by the ruling class furthering to help reinforce social class and mobility restriction…

I was reminding of this article two fold: Watching the movie “In Time”,  http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1637688/?ref_=sr_1, where their currency is people’s time left that they have to live (reward system of people’s lives being lengthened or shortened), and whose ending basically becomes a poor and predictable retelling of Robin Hood. AND ALSO from an article from http://gamifier.com/

discussing http://www.society30.com/ which appears, on the outside, to look like an agent of social change interested in establishing a network of alternative ways of funding with their veil of some sort of revolution of a new order… Correct me if I’m wrong, please.

Further this got me considering my own students, and how I see them begging and pleading and waiting for a Robin Hood (extrinsic rewards interest) and being unable to see the use and opportunities of the system they are embedded in (Society 3.0’s suggestive intrinsic rewards?).


And we can go back to Bartle inspired gamer types discussion http://radoff.com/blog/2011/05/19/game-player-motivations/
where someone tries to break Bartle’s player system up for more digestible non MUD (multi-user dungeon, or, among the first online interactive role playing games) systems.

There is a paper addressing these sort of break-downs in more detail along with a fantastic warning http://gamification-research.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/11-Dixon.pdf

“Lastly, all the research described here is on digital games, not gamified services.” … “There is also real danger that the design of gamified systems will continue to be based on non-empirical research from the wrong context, ultimately leading to commercial failure and user disappointment.”

And yet, I find it tough to consider things unreachable that lay outside these categories…


But still I continue to look at Gamification as an answer to the crisis of education in the U.S. and for world problems. I was inspired by McGonigal’s “Reality is Broken” (and if you haven’t read this book yet, shame on you! Its only 12 bucks on amazon! http://tinyurl.com/an9ec9a ) when she mentioned how many hours of game time is being spent on situations that could have been gamified systems that could cure the world of its problems. These students that are not playing to win (see previous blog in January), these students rebelling against the opportunities to make themselves better (no nothttps://www.superbetter.com/ but thanks for thinking about it!), or perhaps the systems created by some intangible agent of social control as might be interpreted by Paul Willis’s Learning to Labor… Something has to finally break through and SOMEhow I feel it is the very same thing that I ran to when I was rebelling in middle school that might cause the turn about.

We just need to find the kind of gamers we are dealing with in education and the way to turn the goals of education into a game that they will play.

Please help me by spreading the idea, sharing your ideas and keep creating motivation and interest as high as you can.

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