My current read is Thomas Newkirk's Embarrassment and the Emotional Underlife of Learning. I love how Newkirk has put the teacher/student relationship into the context of a learner's emotional life. The text resonates with my own observations in the classroom where student motivation is ruled by the need to self-protect or save face. Though Newkirk acknowledges that it is unlikely to remove all opportunities of shame and embarrassment from the act of learning, he addresses many motivational traps teachers struggle against. Even our best performing students will resist taking risks if it threatens to tarnish an image.
There are lessons in the book for teachers, the lead learners in the room. Needing to continually adjust an understanding of our contextual classroom lives might sometimes mean asking for help--an admission of weakness many avoid. Those with the most experience are least likely to conjure the humility required. (Guilty) Newkirk re-defines asking for help as an act of giving and challenges the hidebound to reconsider their stance and break into new territory.
There is more to read but already this book has much to think about. Maybe an important step toward a long goodbye to the Skinner box and its requisite action/external reward philosophy of teaching?