Fact-driven worksheets and recall-driven quizzes encourage and reward short-term withdrawals, whereas every investor knows that the ultimate goal is to generate sustainable long-term growth. Learning is not about receiving short-term validation, but rather about realizing long-term value. How much will the given task mean to the student a week, a month, or a year after its completion?
Long-time value for the learner is generated when they routinely make both an intellectual and emotional investment in their learning. To be fully invested, students understandably have to recognize and value the benefit they will derive from the completion of the given task. Tasks have to be flexible enough to motivate and challenge all students, as no learner ever wants to feel either over or underwhelmed. All students will understandably feel much more connected to their work if it is rightfully connected to both their present and future worlds.
Tasks that only exist within the confines of a textbook or classroom provide little more than temporary additions to a student’s short-term memory. The essence of any assigned work that has no legitimate connection to the student’s daily reality will be forgotten soon after the completion of the required assessment(s). Tasks that legitimately link to the learner’s life, however, leave a legacy that lasts long after any formal testing. Skills and knowledge refined during these rich and relevant tasks will then be utilized in other authentic opportunities to extend present boundaries and explore future possibilities.