Let me ask you a question: Why do you study?
Is it for the grades? Is it because your parents promised you the brand new iPhone if you get an A? Is it for your GPA so that you can get into your dream university? Is it because you have an exam tomorrow?
Or….. Is it because you want to grow as a person? Because you LOVE the feeling of finally understanding something after struggling to get the concept for so long?
Now, that’s the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
In this TED Talk by Daniel Pink, he explains how the old “carrot-and-stick” incentive analogy doesn’t work – or in some cases – does harm instead.
Mind-blowing, right? It’s crazy how it has been ignored for so long. As future educators, we should start changing how it is done in the classroom.
So How Do We Make That Change?
In order to drive our students with intrinsic motivation, there are three important key points to consider when planning for the classroom.
- AUTONOMY: Giving the students the opportunity to make their own decisions
- MASTERY: Allowing students to feel the urge to get better skills
- PURPOSE: Inspiring them to do something meaningful and important
Time To Spark MOTIVATION!
Here are some ways I plan to use in my own classroom:
- Using a Different Award System: Pizza parties and early class dismissals can be great, but it will not motivate them to think OUT OF THE BOX. Award them with giving them opportunities to choose their next classroom activity, assessment etc.
- POSITIVE Motivations: If students only study hard and do well in fear of you calling their parents, it will diminish their motivation to be creative, or even be genuinely interested in studying.
- Giving Constructive Feedback: Instead of only assigning grades, giving constructive feedback for each assignment can be more helpful to students and “encourages” criticism. It also allows the students to work on their weaknesses and focus on their strengths.
- Opportunity for Self-Directed Learning: Giving them opportunities to decide what they want to learn in relation to the curriculum – for example, if the topic is on climate change – they can choose a specific country or area they want to research the effects of global warming on.
Allow your students to feel the enjoyment in learning. Let them understand the purpose, be curious and feel the passion to LEARN!