Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Locus of control

I know that when I was a student in school many (well not that many) years ago, I struggled to find intrinsic motivation for putting effort into my learning. I see that a number of students in my inquiry this year also struggle with this. However, as an educator I can see the importance of helping our tamariki to come to grips with this. I see many students who do this well but we all know our more ‘needy’ students can be linked to having low levels of intrinsic motivation.

This idea has sparked some interest in me and I have been researching the concept of the ‘LOCUS OF CONTROL’. I have a sneaking suspicion that understanding this and my students understanding this too will have our journey moving in leaps and bounds!

So what is the locus of control theory? To summarise, it is a person’s realisation of/or and acting on control based on their understanding that they have the control or that they are controlled by outside influences.

As a younger member of our community I was adamant that others controlled my success or lack of. It wasn’t until my father passed away when I was aged 24 that my perceptions changed. Coming out the other side of the immediate grief I was dealing with, I started to want to live on my terms. And today I totally own my life and the path I take. And I love it! As a result of this I believe that I lead a very fulfilling and successful life and career.

The thoughts that have come from my realisation of how dramatically my life changed once I took back my belief of control are; can you imagine how different this could have been if I reached this understanding at a much younger age? Can you imagine the lives or paths ours kids at school could be on if they understood and had this belief too from a school age?

There is argument to say that some of this comes down to upbringing. However, we will teach maths in a class but we don't’ prioritise the concept of ‘locus of control’. Surley making a child understand the control they have would enhance their learning success. I believe it will. I am feeling my focus in this inquiry is constantly moving and changing. These thoughts are again challenging my direction.

Keen to figure out your level of control? Have a go and try this quick test to see where your ‘locus of control’ sits. It surprised me!

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