Hunger, creating hunger.
Truly it is that simple and it is a lesson I learned too late in life.
Every student is learning at all times. No one stops learning. Learning is part of our evolutionary skill set. But for our students to learn "the right" things - we have to instill hunger in them.
How? This can be done in many ways. Most importantly, make the subject "speak" through the teacher's passion. The student will believe it "important". I learned to love reading by watching my teachers read on their own. I thought - this reading thing must be so interesting, look at how interested they my teachers are!
Watch Sugata Mitra's lively TED talk. He shows how hungry children get for knowledge when you create the right, the proper organic conditions for their learning. http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/sugata_mitra_the_child_d (...)
This "instilling" or planting of a seed - really is the true job of a teacher. Or we risk the response of Richard Brautigan's student.
The Memoirs of Jessie James
I remember all those thousands of hours
I spent in grade school watching the clock
waiting for recess or lunch or to go home.
Waiting: for anything but school.
My teachers could easily have ridden with Jessie James
for all the time they stole from me.