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The Will to Learn

The Will to Learn
Cultivating Student Motivation Without Losing Your Own

First Edition

April 2023 | 280 pages | Corwin

Student demotivation is experienced as pain—for students, for us, for everyone.

But here's the good news: student demotivation is not inevitable. It's not "a sign of the times"; it's not "kids these days;" it's not "because of COVID."

Instead, it's a symptom of the fact that modern education has lost touch with several key realities:

  • Every one of our students wants to want to learn
  • Every school in the world can be both productive and humane—achievement and wellness aren’t opposed to one another but instead are friends
  • As teachers, you and I have an outlandish (though not omnipotent) influence on the degree to which students in our classrooms experience the will to learn, and
  • The most powerful strategies for cultivating student motivation are far from complicated

In this book, acclaimed teacher-writer Dave Stuart Jr. brings a new theory of student motivation to the educational conversation. Along the way, he shares

  • The five key beliefs beneath all motivated student learning
  • Ten high-yield, low-effort methods for cultivating student motivation in all kinds of classrooms for all kinds of students, all year long
  • Tactics for overcoming over fifty common hang-ups that teachers and students experience with student motivation
  • Let's do the work, colleague. And: let's do it with care.

    Prologue: A Book About Love
    Chapter 1: On the Teaching of Souls Toward Long-Term Flourishing
    Chapter 2: The Five Key Beliefs: How They Work
    Conclusion: Healers of Souls

    Sample Materials & Chapters


    Dave Stuart Jr.

    Dave Stuart Jr. is a husband and father who teaches high school in Cedar Springs, MI. His blog,, is read by over 50,000 educators each month, and his bestselling These 6 Things: How to Focus Your Teaching on What Matters Most has been cherished by teachers and leaders around the world. Dave is also an accomplished creator of professional development experiences, having led hundreds of impactful experiences for teachers in every US state and multiple countries abroad. More About Author

    Also available as a South Asia Edition.

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    ISBN: 9781071884744