2019 will be a key year!
An optimistic start to the year
I have been reading ‘The Better Angels of our Nature’ by Steven Pinker which is an exhaustive analysis of violence in all its forms (spanking to murder to genocide, and everything in between) and in more than sixty detailed graphs he shows that every form of violence has been in long-term decline and the first decade of the twenty first century, is, he asserts, the least violent period in history (he wrote the book in 2010). Worth reading (it’s long though, 758 pages), as this conclusion is by no means intuitive but by the end overwhelmingly compelling.
This analysis gives a powerful backdrop as to why our education systems are transforming themselves from being based on controlled motivation and its implicit coercion (which was explicitly not so long ago) to being supportive of autonomous motivation and its explicit absence of the same.
I see 2019 as being a significant year in this transformation, as the attitudes and behaviours that have underpinned these long-term changes continue to work their way through every aspect of how we engage with each other.
This also provides a context for my latest book Red Brain Blue Brain (that is being proofread as I write, prior to publication) that provides a framework for how we can support autonomous motivation in young people while we shift our own attitudes and behaviours to further our own development.
As we know, it is not at all easy to make these changes, but it does look as though the historical trends will help us along.
Wishing everyone a successful and enjoyable 2019!