Founder, Center For Development of Increased Interest In Learning, (CDOIL Inc)
1. My name is Martin Odudukudu, I am founder of CDOIL Inc. I have taught in grades k-12 for close to 25 years now. In my earlier years of teaching, I often went home from work with splinting headaches. The children were seemingly intentionally frustrating me. I was always frustrated and miserable. Most new teachers expressed the same frustration; tight lipped, thinking as I did that the older educators had failed us. Older teachers are always encouraged to make the extra efforts to befriend and comfort new teachers for t his reason. Students will frustrate a new teacher once they have the hint that the teacher is not certain about or/and handling students' thinking in the learning process. Students test for limits to exercise their powers, and are often carried away to the point of frustrating a teacher.
2. As a new teacher, I had been studying philosophy at professional levels, thinking about interest and how to awaken students' interest. However, like many philosophy students, I had been studying philosophy with the understanding that concepts of interest applied equally to all students as they should, but not that students may not be having the same experiences in or out of learning situations. Concepts of interest may tell us that once interest is in place a student will respond positively to a learning task; however, if a student's interest is understood as differing from another and students are not having the same experiences, a teacher may have to do twenty things to attend to a group of twenty students at a time.
3. However, I applied what I know to the concerns I had as a new teacher. The theories helped, though not as much as I expected. Philosophy teaches that students will pay attention and learn once a teacher can awaken their interests. So, to fix students who frustrated me, I had to awaken their interests: I smiled more, became friendlier, and offered gifts in form of free pencils candy, cookies in the efforts to secure their interest. A student who did not have a pencil, expressed a certain level of interest when h/she received one; so was another student who wanted a friend when I smiled or hungry when I offered cookies. The children responded well until they had to learn from me. Then, they turned missiles against me. Little did I know then that in my merely exhorting them to learn, I was challenging what they know to be the best way to handle themselves and secure a represented advantage.
4. I shared my dilemma with colleague, teachers who were on the practical side of the fence, but they were more into whatever works is what counts. According to this theory, if a student promises to pay attention even for a little while because he/she receives candies from a teacher, then all I, as a teacher, have to do to get more of such attention is do more of what I did to get the little attention. This makes some sense except that manipulating students in whatever way is not equivalent to securing and attending to their interest; giving candy to a student may hold him down and with luck help secure control of their interest, so also is threatening the student. Threaten a students enough, the student will pay attention to the matter. But manipulating a student is not the same as helping to bring a student under control or command of his interest.
5. Dewey's work in Interest and Experience continue to influence my thinking. After reading Interest and Experience and considering its concepts, I started writing about students' interest. My main goal and concern had to do with how to practicalize Dewey's theories in his book, Interest and Experience. I quickly hit a road block: first, I realized I had to differentiate interest from desire. I found that the more I tried to own the knowledge between the pages of “Interest and Experience,” the more I must redefined the words. Even though the book shared and communicated great and obvious light upon how students learn, the concepts do not easily translate into practical use.
6. As a teacher, I have had to bend over-backwards to help student learn; at first, I was not sure why student acted up in my class. Latter, in my teaching career, I became increasingly certain that what students really wanted is for teachers to show understanding. Students want teachers to demonstrate knowledge not merely by showing superiority over who knows what concepts better or who has how many certifications from the state to claim authorization, but also by demonstrating that they know what the students bring to a learning sitaution. Students want to be assured that the teacher can help to tailor what he must learn into what bring to the learning situation.
7. I went on and secured a job as Coordinator of Alternative High School Equivalency/GED program. Here, I had students directly under my charge. I had to instruct other teachers about specific ways to handle the students. I had to be creative and innovative. I took advantage of all that I know about students interest, and I have ever since continued to gain increased understanding of students' interests. Specifically, I find that each student arrives to a learning situation with Goal Thinking, no matter how unrelated to curriculum such Goal Thinking might be. Children plan and seek to achieve an advantage prior to arriving in a learning situation. In an actual task situation where a student must attend to task, the student operates according to what he understands, one engage in Task Thinking. Goal and task Thinking re not the same.
8. In order to consolidate this new understanding regarding students' interest, much grounds have been covered and cultivated, much work has been done. Center for the development of Interest in Learning is a main product of these efforts. Center for Development of Interest in Learning is a nonprofit research organization, on its way to becoming one of the most vibrant research and development company focused to helps students develop increased interest in Learning. Researcher and staff developer in CDOIL will include innovative and experienced cognitive Scientist, clinical/school psychologists, technologist, curriculum developers, K-12 professional developers, and more.
9. At the Center for Develpment of Interest in Learning, We are dedicated to research, develop and disseminate innovative teaching and learning products geared to provide ideal learning opportunities that help students to connects' interest with a represented objects of an advantage. The goal of CDOIL is to emphasize and provide learning opportunities for all students, through methods that separates Goal from Task thinking.