Motivating your students isn’t always easy. But when you break down the concept into intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, the conversation can get interesting. It could be argued that much of the motivation happening in today’s classrooms is extrinsic; That is, driven by the desire to attain an outcome. It could be the desire to get a good grade, get into a good college or university, or to not get in trouble with teachers or parents. This is usually the type of motivation teachers use in their classrooms. Extrinsic motivation is built into our societal norms and even our syllabi! This is even despite the fact that most teachers would much rather have their students intrinsically motivated, even if we don’t often think of motivation in these terms.
Intrinsic motivation is driven by an interest in or enjoyment of the material or subject matter. Students who are intrinsically motivated are what teachers are always looking for. You know the ones: they read more books than you ask them to, they ask probing questions, and they’re interested in finding out more about things. But intrinsic motivation isn’t only a natural thing: there are a number of things you can to do encourage intrinsic motivation in your students. The graphic below from Mia MacMeekin explores 27 ideas to encourage this type of motivation in your students. Keep reading to learn more.