Originally Posted by kathymuggle
Can the wrong school environment for gifted children kill motivation for learning?
There is a statement made here - and on the HSing boards - that the wrong school environment kills the love of learning.
Do you think this is true?
Considering that I said very recently on another thread that I felt the wrong environment could contribute to a loss in motivation I feel the need to join in here.
I really wanted to make the distinction between 'killing a love of learning' and 'killing motivation to learn'. I think it might be more difficult for one single environment to kill the passion inherent in many children toward learning. I've seen first hand though the effect the wrong environment can have on motivation though. It's possible that it is a staged approach. First the motivation may be destroyed, then if not resolved the passion could follow.
Both of our DD's have a love of learning and literally beg for challenging work. Both of our DD's were motivated. ODD attends a private school and has begged for challenging material each year in math (as well as science intermittently). She has high expectations though, is also a people-pleasing, toe-the-line, achieving with little effort child who is not willing to make any waves. Last year in 2nd she started to lose motivation and would at home supplement her own education. Her school has let her down in the sense that she does not believe they are capable of challenging her. Somewhere between the end of last year and now she has lost her self motivation. Her perception seems to be "school is where I go learn, they should teach me there and home is where I relax from school and just be a kid.". Granted, there are personality issues at play here as well. Some other under-challenged kids in this same environment might react differently.
We have been doing a virtual academy with YDD for K. ODD wants to do it next year so that she will be able to learn at her own pace and be challenged, something that is very important to her. There's an interesting dichotomy at play here where she does have agency over her learning environment and her goals but her internal motivation seems to be driven by external sources, or at least affected by it. "Mom, doing that will only get me further ahead and I will be more bored in school." Apparently she'd rather wait for the environment to catch up to her. Her love is still there, her motivation is not. I'd rather not muse over the long term possibilities this situation could have on her passion.
Alas, I probably shouldn't even be posting here. Our DD's have never been tested and according to the school ODD's claims of work being review and not challenging are unfounded. According to her teacher she is not bored and she is appropriately challenged. Apparently it's merely a perception issue on DD's part where she has convinced herself she is bored when the reality is she not. Now, how to fix that?