Weekly Slides

Love of Learning - Week 21

By Jeff Bryan

In fourth grade, I was interested in all areas of science. I particularly loved learning about how the earth was created.

-Dr. Mae Jemison

For an in-depth overview of each weekly slide presentation, please skip below to your specific grade level.
  • To see the 1-page Love of Learning Character Card and share it with your students’ families, click here.
  • For the P2 Reflection Journals, used by all elementary students at the end of the week, click here.

Starting Monday, Partner Schools nationwide will begin learning about love of learning. Those who exemplify love of learning are intrinsically motivated and engaged in a topic regardless of achieving an external standard. They enjoy learning simply for the sake of learning. They don’t need a prize or a high grade as a reward. Their reward is the process of doing the work and improving.

People who love learning experience positive feelings in the process of acquiring skills, building on existing knowledge, or learning something completely new. Over time, individuals with this strength may develop deep and wide knowledge. Their knowledge enables them to make significant contributions to others’ understanding.

This week’s character strength example is Dr. Mae Jemison. She is a true renaissance woman — who has been a doctor, dancer, astronaut, author, professor, and chemical engineer. Before becoming an astronaut and traveling in space aboard the Endeavor Space Shuttle in 1992, she earned her MD and served as a Peace Corps Medical Doctor in Liberia and Sierra Leone. After leaving NASA, Dr. Jemison taught at Cornell and Dartmouth. She is the current principal of the 100 Year Starship, whose mission is to “make the capability of human travel beyond our solar system a reality within the next 100 years.” You can check out Dr. Jemison’s TED Talk and learn more about her work below.

Developing a love of learning is highly beneficial for an individual. It means that they are intrinsically motivated to deepen their existing skills and abilities, or learn something completely new. Since intrinsically motivated action is correlated with positive emotions, those who act on their love of learning may also have enhanced mental and physical health. Additionally, individuals who love learning have the desire and ability to overcome challenges, due to a sense of autonomy and control over their environment.

On a group level, love of learning is crucial. The best leaders have an insatiable desire to learn. It’s love of learning that compelled Benjamin Franklin to fly a kite and make significant advances in electricity. It’s love of learning that led Nelson Mandela to study Afrikaans (the language of his oppressors) and read a smuggled copy of Shakespeare, while locked in Robben Prison. And it’s only by learning and experimenting that we continue to grow.


And, as a reminder, you can find all of our weekly slide presentations on our website’s Resources page. Enjoy the slides — and please be sure to let us know how it’s going by posting to Twitter and using the #PositivityInAction hashtag!

Jeff Bryan
CEO and Co-Founder of The Positivity Project

Jeff Bryan is the CEO and Co-Founder of The Positivity Project. In this role, he leads the organization to support educators to empower their students to build positive relationships and become their best selves.