Students Are Totally Motivated, Indeed! #BCSLearns

Every student, in fact every person, is motivated!  They’re just not always motivated to do what we may want them to do at the time we want, and then we say with deep frustration, “They have not motivation.” What is the motivation for doing what we do each minute of every day?  According to Daniel Pink’s examination of motivation, rewards are not as effective as many of us would think. He shares stories in a pretty captivating TedTalk (embedded below).  Pink, author of A Whole New Mind and Drive, begins by posing the question, “If you want people to perform better, you reward them, right? Bonuses, commissions…incentivize them.” We use rewards and incentives thinking they will “sharpen thinking and accelerate creativity,” but it has been proven that they do the opposite and, in fact, rewards/incentives “dull thinking and block creativity.” In his talk, Pink shares how for simple tasks rewards can work, but NOT for the complex tasks in which we want each other and our modern learners to engage.  Makes me wonder why our federal and state governments think this carrot and stick approach to improving schools would work.  Do our legislators heed the research? Guess not! Let’s get back to Pink. He outlines his keys to intrinsic motivation (detailed in his book Drive linked above):

  • Autonomy – “the urge to direct our own lives”
  • Mastery – “the desire to get better and better at something that matters”
  • Purpose – “the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves”

Let’s compare some other thinkers on this concept of motivation by checking out the links to articles below (videos for you and students too), and here’s to finishing the year and leaping into next by working to

  • allow students to direct their own school lives,
  • provide them learning opportunities that help them get better and better at something that matters, and
  • build their yearning to do what they do in the service of something larger than themselves.

The following links come solely from Edutopia:

Or how about some short motivational videos to share with your students these last few weeks of school to inspire them (or you) to finish strong:


2 thoughts on “Students Are Totally Motivated, Indeed! #BCSLearns

  1. Pingback: Positive Attitude-Is it Really that Important? #BCSLearns | Learn-Lead-Love

  2. Pingback: Intense Learning – Let’s Ignite it! | Learn-Lead-Love

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