Education Engagement & Motivation



I regularly annoy math teachers by questioning why I would need to learn Pythagoras’ Theorem as a kid.

Or Calculus? Seriously… does that even exist?

And just to prove I’m not being mathsist, why should we care about Shakespeare?

Whilst you might this I’m being facetious when I’m doing this, I’m trying to highlight that whilst I – as a somewhat educated 37 year-old – can see the value in each of the above, I wonder if it’s as apparent to the average teenager (the one who isn’t satisfied with the exam or future rationale)?

Whilst some kids will tolerate not having a greater imperative for learning other than, it will be on the test, or they, might need it when they’re older, for a great deal of students this is the first step towards disengagement.

If it doesn’t really matter to them, why learn it?

Seriously… what do you say when kids ask you, “Why are we doing this?”

How do you make it matter?

I’m hoping we can build a resource of powerful answers to such questions.

Let’s share some ideas on #MakeItMatter2Me on Twitter or feel free to offer suggestions to “Why are we learning this?” in the comment box below.

A good start point sometimes can be to ask, “Why are we teaching this?”

It’s a powerful question than can foster real innovation in what and how we teach.