A Reason to Learn

Have you ever wondered why a student has a difficult time learning? If you asked the student why he or she doesn’t seem interested in learning, the response might be, “What’s the point? Give me a good reason for learning or I’m out of here”. If faced with this response, you better find a good reason–and quickly! Today, this type of thought process goes on every day in schools. Kids need a reason to learn in order to stay the course.

Many students today are actually looking for a reason to stay. In many cases, they simply don’t ever get their questions answered. Most likely, if a student falls behind, he or she will be picked up by the RTI (Response to Intervention) process or more recently, PBIS. PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) is a term used to describe the proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports needed for students to achieve social, emotional and academic success.

The approach, for the most part, will be well thought out and interventions will be implemented. This approach in years past always seemed to work. But now it doesn’t. Why? Let’s go back to the student’s statement, “What for?” Times have changed and so have our students. We never attempted to answer the fundamental question. Students need a solid reason before any intervention will work.

Connection to Interests


One of the most basic ways to answer the “What for?” question is to administer an age-appropriate interest assessment. For over 30 years, The Conover Company has been linking interests to academics to help establish a reason to learn. Our Interest Indicator is an age-appropriate interest test linked to hands-on activities or Work Samples, Learning Assessment Programs – which are academic assessments linked to different careers, and The Career Planner – these tools will help to create a career portfolio. With reading levels at around 4th grade and with full audio, these tools can reach even the younger and more limited students. Once interests are identified, the next step is to help students learn how to set and achieve academic and career goals.

Goal Setting – Assessment and Skill Intervention


Personal Responsibility—Achieving Academic and Career Goals is a systematic, research-based assessment and skill-building system that teaches core skills related to academic and post-secondary goal setting and achievement. Included in the system are the skills:

  • Goal Setting
  • Self-Efficacy
  • Values Congruence
  • Achievement Drive
  • Supportive Environment
  • Self-Esteem
  • Self-Control
  • Self-Management
  • Problem Soloving
  • Resiliency
  • Self-Improvement
  • Personal Responsiblitly

By assessing and teaching these skills, Personal Responsibility eliminates the procrastination-blame-victim thinking cycle of many at risk students and puts the emphasis where it belong—on the individual. Check back for future posts on how our Personal Responsibility program can help you meet your PBIS goals.