Motivation to Learn

raising and educating children - a common sense approach

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About the book

Excerpts & notes

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What were the factors that influenced a child's willingness to learn? This point had to be explored at great length and most of the book is devoted to it, beginning with an analysis of why the point is poorly handled in our current education system and why a teacher's job is harder now than ever before. Most of the following sections derive from what we might call Mr. Hubbard's philosophy of child-raising and education. His technology of study is introduced in the last chapter.



As a final note, I should add that the appearance of the book is deceptively simple. One may even think it was written for children at first glance. (They do find it fascinating.) But in fact it is likely to require some careful reading and re-evaluation of how one has viewed children, the educational process and the education system in use around the world today.

I am happy to answer any messages sent via the "Contact Us" page on this website.



  Copyright (c) 2011 Motivation to Learn Consulting. All rights reserved. Grateful acknowledgement is given to L. Ron Hubbard Library for permission to reproduce selections from All About Motivation to Learn, by Graeme Keon, based on the works of L. Ron Hubbard.



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By Graeme Keon

Working as a private English tutor I was often confronted with the problem of how to get the student in front of me to actually want to learn English. As any teacher knows, it can be pretty gruesome trying to teach a child who doesn't want to know.

It was fortunate that some parents were happy for me to take a fairly relaxed approach, allowing their children time to build up some affinity for the language and to discover its usefulness for themselves. Although the progress made in this direction isn't always reflected in test results in the short term, over time the improvement can be far above what anyone expected of the child. Many of my early students who were handled this way developed quite a liking for English, continuing to study it outside of class times and becoming very proficient in it. And for them, all kinds of doors have opened - social activities, job opportunites, overseas study, travel etc.

Other parents however, especially those who had already been engaged in a "battle of wills" with a supposedly lazy or rebellious child, were often desperate for improved test scores. In Taiwan especially, if a student continues to score below average then he won't make it into a prestigious high school or college, his job prospects will be severely limited and the writing is on the wall - his life is practically over before he even has a chance to start it. So in their viewpoint, I was an ally in their struggle to make the child finally knuckle down, do his homework diligently and get a decent score on his test - next week. A mother and father even announced to me once, "We give you permission to hit our son if he needs it." To me it was similar to someone taking their broken-down car to the mechanic and saying, "You have my permission to kick the wheels and dent the fender if it won't go." As with all such cases, if the student was not willing to learn something that was obviously useful, then there was something else that had to be addressed first.

For a time I tried to "walk the middle path" and do what I could for such families, with mediocre results. But as time went on and word of good results spread, I found parents coming to me who already understood that I took a  different approach to teaching, so did not advise me on what or how I should teach. It made it easier to handle each student according to their particular situation, and things got easier. It confirmed my original notion that trying to overthrow a child's right to think for himself, only makes him worse. And that the real answer lay with the teaching approach, in what was being taught or how it was being taught.

It was the fact of having to explain these same things again and again that gave me the idea of putting it all in a book.

Thus I began to mull over what this would entail. Some were surprised that I chose a picture book rather than a thick, scholarly and authoritative work. At my writing speed I was not about to spend the next ten years attempting such a thing, but more importantly, after many discussions with parents and teachers over the years, I had observed a lot of confusion on this subject. Study difficulties were usually blamed on the wrong thing and there was no time to discuss it anyway - Johnny simply had to get a better score or he was toast! And how many people in this multimedia age can really understand a page of text? A picture, on the other hand, supposedly speaks a thousand words, and luckily, doesn't need translation. I was convinced that only a picture book would cut through all this.

And so for several years my spare time was devoted to clay models. With some valuable input from students and parents, friends and relatives, I finally had a layout that summed up the story as clearly as possible. Permission to use L. Ron Hubbard's quotes was obtained and printing was started in February 2011.

What Readers are Saying

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"We have received the book few days ago.
I read the book but have not finished yet, I really like the idea that you bring out.
At first, I only looked through the pictures to get the main idea,
and then I started to read  for more detail.
I found out that the pictures are magically provide the concrete idea about the content,
it was really a great book."

          J. Lee, university student, Taipei


"I have been reading your book. It is great.
I would like to let you know I have waited a long time for something like this!"

       F.M.,  Teacher, Sydney, Australia


"Reading this book reminds me the difficulties that I had before
and those scenes that I saw while my husband was teaching
our daughter. Although the problems we are facing now can not
be solved very easily, this book give me strengh to seek for a better future."

           A. Wu


"而之所以看到林義隆大哥在電子報中介紹您們的這本書,就立刻激起我的購買慾,是因為我在教我那不滿三歲的女兒學習 時,發現 了問題,並且驚覺其嚴重性。主要的問題所在,依我目前閱讀貴出版物的進度(第二章)判斷,應該就是我採取的『棍子與胡蘿蔔』方式基本錯誤。正 如書上所說, 孩子對某些東西出現排斥、恐懼,即使她只有兩歲多。其實這種情形不只會發生在知識的學習上,甚至在生活能力的培養(比如如廁訓練)也如出一 轍。



English translation: "Since I saw Mr. Lin's introduction of your book in his newsletter I immediately had the urge to buy it because when I was teaching my nearly three-year-old daughter I realized there were some problems and the seriousness of them shocked me. I was reading your book up to chapter two and I think the basic mistake I made was using the “carrot and stick.”

Like the book said, kids will show some protest or fear of some things, even though she's just older than two years. Actually this situation doesn't only happen when learning knowledge, but also on life skills training such as toilet training.

On reading this book, I am reminded of many past experiences and thinking.......
Actually your book content is not only suitable for using on kids but I find many situations also happen with adults."

          Ms Chen


"… was light, interesting, amusing and VERY informative. …... prior to reading this I had had a bit of a problem with getting upset (angry) with kids in classes sometimes. Of course, my reasons for getting angry were "justified" but just the same, I didn't like it. But after reading Graeme's book, I NEVER again got angry with kids! …... I've become lighter, more amusing and I believe, more effective."

          H.B., Foreign English teacher in Taiwan


"Because the way of this book’s arrangement and with lively pictures, I got some really useful knowledge from every chapter ...... I can have more confidence to give a good control for educating children."

          M. Hsu, mother, Taipei


"I wish I could read this book 18 years ago. Then I could use those data to raise my son and save me many years of rough time with him."

          Ms. Hung, mother, Taipei


上星期的讀書會讓我恍然大悟...以前我兒子對某一科不認真學習..我就會很著急...現在我知道那是因為他沒有目 標...所以他就不會在乎是否真的了內容,也不會去恩考如何來應用它們

          W.R. mother, Taipei

English translation: Last week's book club (Motivation to Learn study group) let me be suddenly enlighted…... before my son did not study hard on some subject and I would be very worried..... now I know that he did not have a purpose ... so he will not care whether he really knows the content, nor  consider how to apply it. Now I can enlighten (him)  ... let him know .. the purpose of studying it and have motivation.