7 Replies 412 Views
I'm curious to how you all view extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. I've always thought, rather like Vygotsky's theory on a child's voice starting to be external, and gradually moving to be the inside voice in each of our heads over time, students often need a bit of extrinsic motivation before they develop a sense of intrinsic motivation. Grades, praise, prizes, contests, etc. provide the answer to the "What's in it for me?" question that helps kids see a point to what we want them to learn. Then there's one of my kids who is incredibly intrinsically motivated to learn and participate in class, but as such, doesn't often think that turning in his homework is as important as long as he completed it- that should be good enough! Needless to say, his teachers don't agree. We're thrilled he's intrinsically motivated and curious, but "success" in school is defined on performance and getting good grades- an extrinsic measure of learning. Once we create that "perfect" intrinsically motivated student, and grades no longer seem to matter, how do you keep a student motivated to better their own performance, when its more about the learning than the grade? I'm curious how you balance intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, since our world clearly operates on an exchange of "currencies"- whether that's money, praise, accolades, vacation time- you name it, and is less concerned with how much you're interested or engaged in a process unless it can be measured or quantified externally.