Scaffolding for Developing Interest

Four-Phase Model of Interest Development
  1. Equations
  2. Variables
  3. Solving/Balancing Equations
  4. Graphing
  5. Binomial equations
  6. Polynomial equations

Scaffolding for Developing Interest

  1. *Spark* Attention — In order to start anyone down the path of interest, we have to spark their interest. This is the part of interest development that is already done somewhat well by good teachers. They know they have to hook students with something interesting from the beginning. Some call it the Hook. This phase only lasts a few minutes at the beginning of each class.
  2. *Kindle* Agency — The next phase acts like kindling to the spark of Attention. An educator must now tie the concept or learning objective directly to the learner’s sense of agency or being able to do or achieve something meaningful to them in the world. Here already, we’ve departed from even what many good teachers do and are instructed to do. See below for an example using algebra. This phase takes a few minutes after you’ve caught their attention.
  3. *Oxygen* Encouragement — Once the tiny spark of a personal interest has caught in the kindling of the Agency phase, it is important to feed the fire kindling and then small logs. This means lots and lots of encouragement. This phase can be challenging and rigorous, but the stakes should be very low and students should be allowed to retreat to their comfort zones. This phase of interest development is longer than the first two and is where students develop initial knowledge and mastery in a topic.
  4. *Logs* Challenges — Once the fire is self-sustaining, its time to feed it some big logs. In this case, “big logs” means high-stakes challenges and strong critical, constructive feedback. These logs would have smothered the fire in an earlier phase, but now the fire is strong enough to take them. High-stakes testing (which happens every 2–3 weeks in a traditional school) is an example of an interest-smothering log. This phase is the longest phase and is where a student heads towards expert mastery.

Equations & Variables

N (Number of followers) * P (number of pictures shared) / days = T (total potential likes per day)

(R (Rent per month) + C (Car payments per month) + F (Cost of food per month) * 12 = Y (Yearly cost of living)

Building a Building vs. Building a Fire




Educator, Founder, Engineer. Interested in Evidence Based Education and Solving BIG Problems.

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Educator, Founder, Engineer. Interested in Evidence Based Education and Solving BIG Problems.

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