Drive Book Overview:
Daniel Pink’s DRIVE discusses the idea of motivation and how we can best motivate ourselves and others to succeed at a variety of types of tasks. Pink’s thesis is that at the end of the day, intrinsic motivation is far more important that extrinsic motivation because it is longer lasting and ultimately more fulfilling. The trick of course is getting people intrinsically motivated. He tells his stories through the lens of a businessman and economist, after all motivating employees and companies to perform is a fairly important use of intrinsic motivation. He discusses the idea of external rewards as something that the economist may overvalue, and that in fact giving people rewards can in fact sometimes be a detriment to their work. This idea is quite relevant to the science classroom as well as the office.
Drive in the Science Classroom:
When discussing the ideas of DRIVE in an educational setting, we can substitute all of Pink’s financial rewards with the type of external rewards you often get in the classroom: grades, or perhaps the occasional extra recess, piece of candy, etcetera. Pink’s reasoning then, would tell us that on big creativity based projects, such as labs, inquiry assignments, or presentations that it may be better to not hang a big grade over students’ heads. This may quell their creativity when we really want to enhance it by engaging their intrinsic motivation, their inherent interest and curiosity about science. This is not to say grades are unimportant. They are useful for assessing learning, and on homework, quizzes, and perhaps more boring (but necessary) assignments they can serve as excellent motivators. However when we want to really challenge students to learn more and explore, their motivation cannot come from these outside factors. Pink says that it just won’t work.
- Activities where students CHOOSE the topic of their presentation or demonstration and then explore it. (ie teams choose an environmental issue they are passionate about to do a report on).
- Lab activity where students’ reward is getting to continue the experiment in a new way. (ie teams who finish can start on a new experiment that builds on the past knowledge and relates to an interesting topic).
- A FedEx day as Daniel Pink puts it. A day where students can explore assignments they want on their own schedule. This could be tough with classroom management, but done well it could be very effective.
This Tweet is from author Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist and faculty member of Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania