purpose and learning

The next two articles I’m sharing, today – Thursday and tomorrow – Friday, have provided me great fuel for me to do purpose work in higher education.

This first article illustrates how an intervention for low-income high school seniors centered around purpose/serving something bigger than yourself increased the likelihood that they would go to college.

They also conducted another study with ninth graders that had them write a short essay describing how high school would help them become the kind of person they want to be or make an impact on society.  As a result of this intervention, they found that the weakest students had an average GPA boost of 0.2 points – which may not seem like a lot, but it could be the difference between between passing and failing a class, getting into a college, etc.

In essence, connecting schoolwork, even if it’s boring and mundane, to something bigger than yourself has a positive impact on how young people find meaning in their education.  And the ONLY intervention is just a short 20-30 minute essay!  Those of us doing purpose work already know this; now, the rest of the world is starting to catch up.

So imagine the impact a 1-credit, 50-minute elective course, like our “What Could I Do With My Life” – a course that’s focused on helping students discover their purpose, define their mission, and create a vision for the future – could have on young people, not only at our institution but around the country!

Here is today’s article of inspiration:

“How a Bigger Purpose Can Motivate Students to Learn” – https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/37020/how-a-bigger-purpose-can-motivate-students-to-learn

Please join me as we continue to inspire more and more people – especially young people – to explore their purpose.

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