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Mind-Based education needs a Heart-Based makeover

In Dr. Harapnuik's article, The Head Won’t Go Where the Heart Hasn’t Been; he states, "If you really want to bring about change in people then you need to appeal their hearts and not to their heads" (Harapnuik, 2015). In the educational setting, the mind is considered the seat of rational thought, while the heart is the seat of emotions. As a result, our culture places a high value on intellectual achievement and thinking things through carefully before taking action. This thinking has led society to believe that targeting the mind is more important than targeting the heart.

Academically speaking, the merits of hard work and dedication to learning are often championed as the primary drivers of good grades and test scores. However, this social perspective downplays motivation and desire's role in academic success. When I was younger, I was always told that I could be anything I wanted to be if I just tried hard enough. And while that may be true to some extent, over the course of my life, I have found that other factors play a huge role in success.

Of course, natural ability, IQ, and hard work are essential for academic success, but I also think some variables of emotion significantly contribute to a student's passion for working hard. For many students, it is the intrinsic motivation to do well and the desire to learn. These factors are often more important than IQ or natural ability in predicting academic achievement. While reflecting on this, I'm reminded of the saying,

"Where there is a will, there is a way!"

For students who lack intrinsic motivation and desire, achieving academic success can be more difficult, no matter how much effort they put in. It's important to remember that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses and that it is okay.


Harapnuik, D. (2015, January 9). The Head Won’t Go Where the Heart Hasn’t Been. Retrieved October 22, 2022, from

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