Sunday, 1 December 2013

Playing devils advocate

So I'm looking at motivation in adolescents and rolling along with themes and ideas when I decided to start reading a book I picked up in the uni. library,
                             The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz
because it's not enough to be trying to formulate thoughts into words and words into flowing sentences all know what I'm saying!
So here's the basic premise of the book - too much choice is bad for you!
Well that got me thinking about one of the themes in my inquiry; that the quest for autonomy involves the individual 'choosing' rather than being controlled. An idea that I've been really trying to develop in my classes over the last few weeks.
But now I'm thinking, can I go to far and overload students with freedom and choice thus sabotaging my own plan for enhancing classes?
In his opening chapter Schwartz talks about a trip to buy jeans (usually for him a five minute trip) turning into a day of trying on and deliberating; the modern day consumer nightmare of having fifteen styles and cuts of jean instead of the one-size-doesn't-quite-fit-all pair of yesteryear!
Is this just a consumer problem, something that affects material choice, or does this spill over into other areas of life?
I can already hear myself, and other dance teacher friends, bemoaning that 'children today have too much choice' and so 'never really focus on one thing properly.' Does this also apply to those choices given within the class?
In other words, is there an 'autonomy spectrum' ranging from totally controlling to over-freedom? And if there is will it be possible to find that perfect balance point in the middle?
Definitely one for the next inquiry...

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