What exactly is extrinsic motivation…and why is it so prevalent in education?  Here’s what a couple of experts have to say:

 “Extrinsic motivation is motivation to engage in an activity as a means to an end. Individuals who are extrinsically motivated work on tasks because they believe that participation will result in desirable outcomes such as a reward, teacher praise, or avoidance of punishment.” –Paul R Pintrich & Dale H. Schunk, Motivation in Education 

“One thing I have learned as I visit schools and talk to teachers is that most teachers prefer to use outer motivational resources. Many teachers hold pessimistic attitudes about the utility or even the wisdom of motivating students via inner motivational resources. There is something there that teachers simply do not trust. Behind this mistrust I hear three reasons. First, some teachers actually do not want a theory of motivation; rather they want a theory of performance. …Second, many teachers prefer to take a short-term, moment-to-moment approach to motivation instead of a longer term developmental approach…. Third, teachers find motivation via inner motivational resources to be suspicious because it does not correspond to how others motivate them.”  –Johnmarshall Reeve, Motivating Others

–Skip Downing, Facilitator, On Course Workshop, Skip@OnCourseWorkshop.com

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