The same principle, however, carries over in school. Students (and everyone) have little use for information in the abstract. A list of resources, a set of skills, and series of vocabulary words may sound great on paper, but honestly most people have little use for knowledge unless they see a practical value for it. Most, in fact, know that information will be useful...but it isn't useful now so there's no need to pay attention. Learning is best, and knowledge is absorbed when it is given on time, and right away.
I am currently experiencing this phenomena as my students turn in their papers this evening. Despite limiting the working schedule from two weeks to three days, students have STILL put the work off until the last minute. I was not surprised this happened, but it certainly makes us think about the way we do things. Often teachers falsely assume that because a project is big, it deserves a lot of time to work on it...yet if only the final moments are truly used, then why bother with the build up?
No easy answers and perhaps that's ok. In the meantime, I eagerly await the return of Writing Roulette. Let the Games Begin.