Motivation interview with Paul Oh

In CEP 900/930, we were tasked with creating an audio interview that demonstrated motivation in learning.  Here is my interview with Paul Oh, senior program associate with the National Writing Project.

I chose to interview Paul Oh for many reasons.  First and foremost, he is one of the most motivated learners I know.  He is a curious person who is willing to engage in many topics, to see all sides of an issue, and to help others think deeply.  He seems to do this, at least from my vantage point, out of a strong sense of an intrinsic need to know more and do better.  Paul has been using social media to connect with numerous teachers across the nation, and from my interview with him, I learned that Paul cares deeply for his work, just as he deeply values the intellectual engagement of his many activities.  In my final audio below, I note that the most significant aspect of our almost two hour conversation (don’t worry: I agonized to cut it down to two-and-a-half minutes) was how incredibly valuable it is to Paul to have the opportunity to engage in the exchange of ideas in his own way.  This sense of autonomy is fostered by both his work and his use of social media.  I think as teachers, it is easy to forget that our students have their own curiosities and ways of learning, and that by fostering those we can in turn foster a motivation to learn throughout a lifetime.

Motivation interview with Paul Oh


  1. I posted this on Kevin’s blog, too:

    Hi Kevin,
    Thanks for taking up the question! I really enjoyed your answer. I think that issue of balance is so, so important today. You expressed it beautifully when you described how meaningful it was to reconnect with your friends. One of the things we’ve been reading about in our Ed Psych/Ed Tech Coursework are the counterarguments to tech integration. And they really aren’t about the tech, but about what is lost when we overemphasize the technology at the expense of the other ways students and people learn. It seems that the issue of balance arises repeatedly in these discussions.

  2. Good choice of interview subject. Paul Oh is the man…. What did I learn today? Doing a crossword with my wife, I learned who Mortimer Snerd was.

    1. Okay, who was Mortimer Snerd? I have to say, I loved your motivation interview, too. I loved the sound of the water in the background, and your family was fascinating.

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