DRiVE: What motivates us (and our students)

by Marty Crossland on June 1, 2010

I have become quite a fan of Daniel Pink. In an earlier entry here, I shared his presentations on his book A Whole New Mind: How Right Brainers Will Rule the Future. In this entry, I want to share a recent TED presentation he made about his newest book, DRiVE: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.

Here he shares what science has been telling us for years about intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation. Management science in business, at least until fairly recently, has focused mostly on reward-punishment extrinsic motivational approaches (bonuses, commissions, contingent salary raises, etc.) to try to coax better performance from workers — and we as teachers, I believe, tend to expect similarly motivated behaviors from our students.

However, Dan points out that decades of research proves that people perform best when they are intrinsically motivated — for the enjoyment and/or fulfillment provided by the activity itself. Three important components of intrinsic motivation are Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose.

I encourage you to watch the following presentation and read the book to learn more about this fascinating topic.

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