Page 12 - FIS World October 2018
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 Labor of Love
A World of Opportunities at FIS help students explore their passion
The school’s 3D Printing Club, in which students have built custom 3D printers themselves, are just one of a multitude of outlets where students can
hone their talents and explore their passions
Teresa Amabile, Harvard business professor and author of How to Kill Creativity, knows that the key to highly creative work is “intrinsic motivation”: the reward we get from within to excel at what we do, like searching for meaning, curiosity, purpose or creative flow. She differentiates it from “extrinsic motivation,” a “creativity killer,” which includes external pressures and rewards to perform well, such as money, status, bribes or threats (or, in student life, grades, honors, bribes or threats.) Intrinsic motivation drives our labor of love, or passion, which is the ability to do uniquely excellent work when you love what you do.
I’ve seen this at work in my home, watching our daughter relentlessly and resourcefully learn the Korean language on her own over the past year, with no-one but herself telling her to do daily homework, including on weekends and holidays. I’ve caught myself thinking, if only she’d apply herself with half this gusto to her school subjects! But this is a dangerous thought because the labor driven from within is the most important of all for the individual and society at large.
All of this got me wondering what support exists at FIS for students to keep up, (re)discover and
grow their intrinsic motivation to learn and create beyond the inquiry-driven PYP years of their childhood. More specifically: Which opportunities exist for students to find and express that which motivates them intrinsically once they’ve moved into an increasingly curricular-driven track? And how does FIS support passions that fall outside its established curricular and extra-curricular framework?
It turns out that there is a world of opportunity and plenty of authentic awareness about the importance to foster student passions at FIS. Dan Cowan, Grade 6-8 Principal, talked about the various ways in which the school strives to harness such passions. “What we’ve done – parents, teachers, counselors and staff – is to work together to see what students need. Parents come and talk to us and we always encourage students at assemblies to come and talk to us if there’s anything that FIS is not offering, and that they’d like to learn or explore. We work with counselors to look for students who may be yearning for personalized learning experiences to help fuel their fire. We assist students in enrolling in the Global Online Academy (GOA) so they may take online courses in subjects not offered at FIS or
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