Restoring Motivation – Dr. Sullivan

A few weeks ago, Dr. Tim Sullivan anticipated a very important and enlightening speech regarding us fellow students. In his discourse, Sullivan discusses his perspective of the reasons behind the lack of motivation of students nowadays. I was working on a paper three months ago that revolved around the topic of academic inflation and how degrees are increasingly losing their purpose, proving to be problematic to both students and educational institutions, while on the larger scale a disaster for the economy as a whole.

Similarly, Sullivan provides his example of the importance of degrees in maintaining social statuses and other factors unrelated to the process of education itself. Parental influence’s also a major factor behind the education an individual may receive. Job opportunities in my point of view are also problematic, as you can see for third world countries such as Egypt, liberal arts being undervalued is an understatement. Therefore, realistically speaking the sciences prove to have a much safer and secure position in our society. However, no one has ever bet enough on a winning horse.

Later on in his speech, Sullivan introduces Queen Rania’s hope deficit theory. The theory states that the youth (Arabs) find future opportunities as ‘bleak’ and with this pessimistic attitude they turn to violence, crimes, drugs, immigrations, and revolutions. However, the problem arises from our classrooms as stated by Sullivan, the unmotivated and reluctant student persona is a product of societal pressures and the unattainable ‘ideal student’ character we all strive to become.

However a bright side still exists according to Sullivan, he provides an efficient solution for overcoming the lack of motivation students often suffer from, “Students work best when the professors are aware of the needs of the students as individuals not as an undifferentiated group”. This may not resolve the problem as a whole, but it’s definitely a good start. Generally speaking, confronting an individual on a personal level exposes a number of unique hidden characteristics and traits that may not appear on other levels of communication. By acquiring the insight needed, you have the chance to develop and explore those abstract minds that lie in your classrooms, and who knows you might get lucky…


(Watch ‘Do school kills creativity’, Sir Ken Robinson)



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