Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Motivation & Higher Order Thinking Skills

WOW! Where does Larry Ferlazzo get his energy? He posts so much, so often, and all of it is Excellent!

Larry’s recent post discusses the TED talk by Daniel Pink “On The Surprising Science of Motivation” and Pink’s latest book A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future.

Larry summarizes in his own words:

Pink basically says …that extrinsic rewards do work — for mechanical work that doesn’t require much higher-order thinking. But he says research says that it will not work for anything that requires higher-order thinking skills and creativity.

He goes on to relate:

This analysis mirrors my own experience in the classroom. In Have You Ever Taught A Class That Got “Out Of Control”? I shared the challenges I faced last year in using extrinsic motivation … and then moving them back toward intrinsic motivation…

However, students clearly did not start doing their highest quality work until they were “weaned” off the point system and began to gain what Pink calls “autonomy, mastery, and purpose.” Pink says that those are the three essential elements in generating higher-order thinking skills.

I haven’t yet had a chance to watch the video, but encourage everyone as well as myself to watch it.

Then I challenge each of you:

How do you motivate your students?

Can you motivate your students without using Higher Order Thinking Skills and Creativity?

[As always, in my author quotes, the underlines, color changes, and bold type is mine, not the author’s!]

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