Thursday, April 7, 2011

Motivating Chicago Students Through Sports

Motivating students to learn is sometimes the greatest struggle a teacher can face in the classroom. While the curriculum can be interesting and integrate all the technology in the world, if it doesn’t capture the attention of the student, how much information will the student actually retain?

In Chicago, United Neighborhood Organization (UNO) is using an interest-based approach to academics by opening a soccer academy this fall for 575 kindergartners through eighth-graders.

With soccer the No. 1 sport in the Hispanic community, UNO organizers figured it could be a good hook to inspire kids otherwise prone to dropping out or not being interested in school, perhaps getting some on track for college sports scholarships.

"We have a tremendous amount of soccer talent within our community," said Juan Rangel, CEO of UNO. "Unfortunately, a lot of kids may have the soccer skills, but they do not have the academic background."

Learn more about the soccer academy at the Chicago Tribune

Is it effective to use external modes of motivation, such as athletics, to increase academic performance?

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