Why MI in Education?

School is a journey of change

Learning, developing and growing requires changing and ideally that is taking place in curious and positive minds, guided by educators who have skills to nurture that. Here are a few points about why learning MI might make sense to add to your bag of tricks.

Refining your existing skills to help students change

  • MI builds on practices that you already have—It use of the Socratic method of open questions, engaging with students, scaffolding their learning, affirming their existing skills and interests.
  • Connecting with their curiosity—By enhancing your reflective listening skills, you’ll remember what generates their interest and by remembering to affirm their effort, you nurture their intrinsic motivation.
  • A Guide of their learning—Rather than relying solely on pushing and prescribing their learning which can create push-back, you’ll add to your guiding skills and support them from behind.
  • Re-tooling with less rewards or punishment—The use of rewards may show short gains, yet it can be perilous because as it can diminish real interest. Punishment creates discord and resentment that counters learning and often does little to change behavior or make amends.

Making your job easier

  • It can save you time—Pushing students can be time consuming, capture their interest and time is wisely used, it seems to fly.
  • It simplifies providing autonomy support without fear of losing control—MI provides a way to honor student autonomy as they think about their actions and learning, which increases intrinsic motivation.
  • As a tool for participatory agreements/rules—It can inform how to have group conversations related to restorative/positive discipline in deciding about behavior limits for all to own.
  • It allows students opportunities to learn to problem-solve & self-regulate—Listening and reflecting back their thoughts and feelings is a helpful way to guide students thought process that means that you don’t have to repeatedly be there in the future.
  • A way to be culturally sensitive with diverse students and their families—MI helps educators limit cultural baggage that can be a barrier to communication and prevent stereotyping and discord.
  • Making schools more effective—When students want to learn, students will be there to learn and schools will be effective.