Daniel Pink: The Puzzle of Motivation

We need to take the time to listen to this talk…

Changes in L(attitude)

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2 responses to “Daniel Pink: The Puzzle of Motivation

  1. Thanks for sharing! Some thoughts…

    James Heinegg sparked my curiosity on the subject of “motivation in education” a few years ago. I took his course on “Grading,” and a central theme of the course was the role of grades as a motivator.

    I watched and listened to Pink’s lecture through this lens, and I agree with his assertions about the contrasting effects of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators. I disagree with the “carrots and sticks” approach to motivating students. Students should love learning because the process opens their minds in fun and challenging ways. I feel that grades often derail students from this journey, as their focus shifts to “how much an assignment is worth.”

    Pink makes interesting assertions about the relationship between extrinsic motivators and convergent thinking, and the relationship between intrinsic motivators and divergent thinking…. (the thinking we need in the 21st Century). I agree with Pink that many of our practices are simply rooted in tradition, and not rooted in science. As he says, many practices are “outdated and unexamined.” Intrinsic motivation : 1) autonomy: the urge to direct our own lives, 2) mastery: the desire to get better and better at something that matters, and 3) purpose: the yearning to do what we do, in the service of something larger than ourselves…

    Pink discusses the negative effects of “management” in the business community. Management works well for compliance in business. Self-direction, however, creates engagement in the business community (Fedex, 20 percent time, ROWE, wikipedia…). I believe that the same holds true in our classrooms. My students rarely, if ever, ask me “how much is this worth?” They love learning, however, and they deeply engage themselves in the learning process.

    Unfortunately, many still prefer Encarta over Wikipedia, which I view as a microcosm of a broader challenge… for another day!

    • Anthony, I appreciate your insightful comments. We should continue the conversation regarding what we as educators value and how to help students construct and contribute beyond the classroom walls.

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