I’m really glad I read ‘Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us’, by Daniel H. Pink.
(Actually, I guess I didn’t read it, I listened to it in audiobook format.)
I liked the author’s combination of scientific research and real-life examples to explain that people are generally more motivated and productive if given autonomy over certain aspects of their work. This applies to people of all ages.
As an educator, I guess I wasn’t as surprised by Pink’s collection of research and concrete examples as I should have been. This is because I see the harmful effects that carrot and stick reward systems have on kids every day.
Pink really gave me hope, though. His tool-kit for teachers in the third part of his book offered lots of solutions for both teachers and parents to foster ‘type i’ behaviour in our kids. `Type i’ refers to intrinsically motivated people. (As opposed to those who are mostly extrinsically motivated.)
I know from now on I will definitely be giving any homework I assign the ‘type i’ test be sure it is meaningful home learning.
I hope to use Pink’s ideas so I can better motivate my students with lessons that promote autonomy, mastery, and have a clear purpose.
I will be recommending ‘Drive’ for my school’s professional development literature circles. I think it is a must read for all educators and others involved in the business of motivating people.