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Motivation: Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose–Putting the Pieces Together


Daniel Pink’s intriguing case for why intrinsic factors, not extrinsic factors, are what really motivate us.  Though he presents it in the context of the business world, there are striking parallels to the education world.  In the first twelve minutes he establishes what we know–but surprisingly fail to heed–about the limits and/or failures of extrinsic motivation. In the last six minutes–where I truly became intrigued about the possibilities in my classroom–he presents the promise of intrinsic motivation in the form of three principles: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. In this piece, he highlights autonomy, and this in particular has been my inspiration for the independent learning projects I have begun with my students, through which my goal is to first give them autonomy as a means for them to then achieve greater mastery and deeper purpose.  In short, my drive for doing different here is to find ways to more authentically engage my students in the learning opportunities in my classroom.  So far we have learned a lot, and I’m eager to see how much more we will learn about learning over the months to come.  Tune in and join the conversation (  Your words matter.

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