Progress

by Dr Davis on January 12, 2012

I have seen a book about progress touted as a great read from 2011 and have been planning to get it and read it.

Then I saw a post from Community College Dean about the book.

Over the break I read The Progress Principle, by Teresa Amabile and Steven Kramer, and I have to admit that it unintentionally shed some useful light on academia.

The one idea of this book is that the feeling of “progress,” even when small, is a powerful motivator. People who achieve little victories are far more likely to stay engaged with what they’re doing and put forth solid effort than people who don’t get those victories. The major advice of the book was to structure work (and management) to recognize the value of small victories, and to encourage a sense of forward motion whenever possible.

And then I thought about semesters.

It’s hard to get a sense of progress as a teacher when you have to start all over again every few months. Just when the students are starting to get the hang of it, they leave, and you have to face a fresh crop that puts you right back where you started.

He goes on and it is very interesting.

I especially was intrigued by how he very specifically ties it to community colleges.

He’s made me want to read the book even more. I am going to stop typing and go shopping.

Read an interview from Daniel H. Pink with Teresa Amabile on Pink’s blog.

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