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Gregory and a Tale of Two Pupils

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about motivation in the classroom. As always, John Milton Gregory is spot on:

“The difference between the pupil who works for himself and the one who works only when he is driven is too obvious to need explanation. The one is a free agent, the other is a machine. The former is attracted by his work, and, prompted by his interest, he works until he meets some overwhelming difficulty or reaches the end of his task. The latter moves only when he is urged. He sees what is shown him, he hears what he is told, advances when his teacher leads, and stops just where and when the teacher stops. The one moves by his own activities, and the other by borrowed impulse. The former is a mountain stream fed by living springs, the latter a ditch filled from a pump worked by another’s hand.”

Gregory, John Milton. The Seven Laws of Teaching. p 86