Intrinsic Motivation and Students

Great article by Edutopia on kids and intrinsic motivation. We’re so used to telling kids/students what to do. The key item I pulled out of this read is the what kinds of choices and directions you give students. The examples they provide are clear to see the differences in style of what is traditionally done and what kids would respond to better.

I was writing in Starbucks a few weeks ago, when a mother asked her 3 year old daughter if the girl wanted to finish the apple she took one bite out of or throw it away. I was confused by the latter option, simply because I thought she could have asked the girl if she wanted save it for later or if she would like to cut it (it was a whole apple). I can see how this was the mom trying to give her daughter options, at the same time, her daughter didn’t understand the value of food, so she said shed like to throw it away. Giving the girl options to eat it at a later point would highlight that value and at the same time, allow the girl to make her own decision.

This may not quite be intrinsic motivation and could simply be a difference in value for food, but it certainly something that some parents are picking up on.