There is a vast amount of research which has demonstrated that intrinsic motivation leads to greater creativity and productivity than extrinsic motivation. And yet most schools and businesses primarily use carrots and sticks such as grades, money and fear of failure to motivate their students and employees.

External motivators are frequently used for both students and teachers. External rewards and punishments sometimes work well when people are attempting to complete simple tasks and problems. They do not work as well for tasks that require critical and creative thinking which our students will need to obtain and maintain a good job.

When students are motivated from within to learn they awaken inner qualities which are needed for success in school, career and life. These qualities include resilience, determination, courage, ability to focus, self-discipline and the ability to overcome procrastination.

How can educators help students to generate intrinsic motivation? According to research studies reviewed by Daniel Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, there are three elements which are an important part of intrinsic motivation. These elements are autonomy (desire to be self-directed), mastery (desire to learn and improve at something that matters to us) and purpose (desire to serve a cause larger than ourselves).

What can educators do to help students to generate intrinsic motivation? The following types of assistance can help:   … Read More