We all recognize the difference between a compliant and a committed person. The right type of motivation can make a dramatic difference in helping teachers and students move from mediocre to magnificent.
Because many schools have focused on using extrinsic motivation methods such as managing, motivating and evaluating students and staff, they have not been successful in developing intrinsic motivation within them. As a result, the levels of engagement have often been profoundly and negatively impacted.
Many schools continue to use incentives and rewards as motivators, but research indicates that the impact of these extrinsic motivators is limited at best and at worst have been shown to diminish commitment. That means that our efforts to inspire kids with positive reinforcement may work against our best intentions.
Most school administrators and staff have not engaged in the process of strengthening intrinsic motivation. This changes when each understands what really inspires and drives adults and children to engage in learning and social and emotional life skills. When understood, each adult can then support students adequately in cultivating enthusiasm and commitment for learning and good citizenship from within.
The process for fostering internal motivation through effective transfer of responsibility takes time and concerted effort, but the difference is startling and clearly worth the investment.