Enforced education the worst motivator in learning

Enforced education the worst motivator in learning

Professor K Ranga Krishnan is right that “Understanding motivation — and apathy — is key to education” (Aug 16). Motivation is key to every undertaking in life. It is the mental fuel, just as sugar and fat are the physical fuels that propel us forward.



Professor K Ranga Krishnan is right that “Understanding motivation — and apathy — is key to education” (Aug 16). Motivation is key to every undertaking in life. It is the mental fuel, just as sugar and fat are the physical fuels that propel us forward. The worst kind of motivation is enforced motivation. Observe a pupil who dislikes second language but has to study it. Listen to a child tapping listlessly on the ivory keys because her tiger mother is within hearing distance.Open one’s ears to a father labouring day after day not because he likes his job but because he has mouths to feed. Better still, watch the life of someone who is faithful to a spouse he does not love but dare not divorce. Such people are motivated, but they live in hell.

Let someone do what he enjoys and is good at, and it is impossible to wipe the smile off his face. Innate motivation is like an engine in a soaring rocket. External motivation is like the engine of a plane carrying a rocket in its undercarriage.

On the other hand, although we may not be able to choose the thing we love, very often, we better love the thing chosen for us.

A pupil may not want to be a mathematician, but to live in a modern society, some knowledge of mathematics is essential.

I dislike the diet my doctor prescribed for me, but do I have a choice? Now, I am starting to enjoy it. I may yet live to 100 if I am willing to give up those foods that motivated me to want to live to 100.

We cannot always let pupils, especially younger ones, choose only whatever they like to study. What if they choose not to study anything, or to study something that is unprofitable or even harmful?

Being young, have they enough information to choose from, as well as sufficient wisdom to make the right choice? U-turns can be costly. Many subjects can be unappealing until one is acquainted with the subject and, often, only after one has surmounted a few hurdles in learning it.

Love at first sight exists more often in fiction than in real life.

Hence, it is important that young minds be put into contact with as much variety of subjects as possible, including — but not exclusively — languages, mathematics and science.

Do we not notice that some grown-up students in centres of higher learning have to change course?

Self-experience is a good but expensive teacher. The experience of others is just as good, if not more, and often free.

Blessed are the pupils taught by teachers who are not only experts in their fields but also so passionate about their chosen subjects as to light up their pupils’ motivation.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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