On page 21 of All About Motivation to Learn, the point is made that the current education system contributes to irresponsibility in children. That if they’re allowed no control over their education, if they are not consulted, their thoughts and opinions overruled or ignored, then they will feel no personal responsibility for the result. Much like this learner driver being “pushed out of the driver’s seat.”
In this case it would be pretty hard to convince him to “be responsible.” Likewise, our efforts to get children to take responsibility for their schoolwork are often fruitless, and will continue to be so as long as we continue to pressure them into studying subjects they personally cannot see any value in.
Did anyone ever give you a book you didn’t ask for and insist that you read it? They may have been very adamant that this was a great book and you would find it very helpful and enlightening, but if you could not see that value for yourself, then you probably resented their efforts to persuade you.
Children are no different. If we believe there’s something they really need to learn, then it’s up to us to present the subject in such a way that they can appreciate its usefulness. To do that, we need to take into account their limited understanding of the world, plus their own interests and aspirations.
More detail can be found in the book All About Motivation to Learn . Buy one and read it.