One of the most common complaints from teachers is lack of student motivation for learning. We also hear a lot of complaints about the selfishness of younger generations. But researchers have found that most young people do care about the state of the world and often want to make it a better place.

So try asking your students, “What is it that you care about or want to see get better in your lifetime?

I’ve seen a growing trend in caring for the environment and endangered species. Ask students and then solicit their help in brainstorming projects that would combine the thinking and concepts from class with exploring their passions.

The motivated brain learns faster and deeper so it will likely be worth a day or two of class time to work with them to figure out a project. Try it and let us know how it goes!