Monday, June 6, 2016

Motivating Conversations about Motivation




Tonight’s #plearnchat examined our Continuum of Motivation that we created around our beliefs and research concerning motivation and its impact on the learning process. This continuum depicts what moving from extrinsic motivation to intrinsic might look like as learners progress from teacher-centered to learner-driven environments.

Our goal as educators is to move learners out of the Instrumental stage because motivation and creativity do not thrive from rewards and punishments. Instead we want learners to have an intrinsic drive to learn for their own sake. 

Our questions for our PLN centered around the four steps in this continuum: Instrumental, Social, Achievement and Self-Actualization. 

All of our questions addressed how motivation impacts the learning process.

  1. How does motivation have an impact on the learning process?
  2. How does learning only for an extrinsic reward affect learning?
  3. How do you encourage someone to learn if they don’t care or just want to fit in with the group?
  4. Why is it important for learners to develop a growth mindset so they believe in themselves?
  5. How can learners setting their own goals motivate them to learn?
  6. How do you encourage self-actualization so learners are invested in their learning?


Our most integral conversation was about how to encourage learners to learn if they don’t care or they just want to fit in with their peers. Here’s what our PLN had to say about this question on apathy:


Jen Hegna @jenhegna

First of all Learn what? Can you connect their interests? I also find doing things that matter helps trigger motivation.


Nancy Donaker @donaker_7

Voice and choice allows students to make decisions of learning personal and must work with their likes and passions.


d ryer @dryer83

Enthusiasm is contagious and explain/show how the learning is authentic in their life-no matter what age.


Margaret Mariella @MargaretMariel2

School culture sets the tone. Schools create their own mindset regarding rewards.


Shelly Vohra @raspberryberet3

Students need to be exposed to a variety of topics thru different types of literature/media to find out what they are curious about.



Here's a few resources that were shared about apathy:



As we shifted our conversation toward guiding learners to move from extrinsic to intrinsic motivation some thoughts were:


Pam Hubler @specialtechie

Intrinsic motivation is what shines the light on intelligence. The smartest person with no motivation still won't go far.


Mrs. White @RaRaPenguin

External rewards puts learning in box. No creativity, passion or personal meaning/drive so it fizzles out eventually.


David Buck @dbuckedu

Setting one's goals exhibits self-efficacy, a major factor in learning motivation. If I contribute to the goal, I engage.







Congratulations to Carol Frey Reinagel for winning our book, Make Learning Personal.


Carol Frey Reinagel, @MrsReinagel, is a fifth grade teacher at Strawbridge Elementary in Virginia Beach Public Schools. Carol promotes learner led learning, is a Nearpot Certified Trainer, a Google Certified Teacher, and is currently seeking National Board Certification

"Power of positive thinking. An old idea with merit.
If you don't believe in you, how can I? Building self-esteem is vital."




You can read more about Motivation now in our blog post at Personalize Learning: Continuum of Motivation: Moving from Extrinsic to Intrinsic. We would like to give a special thank you to Sylvia Duckworth @sylviaduckworth for designing the graphics for the continuums. https://sylviaduckworth.com/

The Continuum of Motivation and the other continuums we created to define moving to agency will be featured in our new book, How to Personalize Learning, to be released Fall 2016.  It is now available for pre-order.


Save the Date

Our next #plearnchat (Summer Learning)
Monday, June 20th at 4pm PST, 5pm MST, 6pm CST and 7pm EST.


We archived the entire #plearnchat about Continuum of Motivation below for your convenience and as a resource.