“Daddy, can I please help take out the garbage?”
Now that my sons are teenagers, it’s been a while since I’ve heard requests like that. But when they were young, even the most mundane events and tasks seemed to appeal to them as exciting experiences and learning opportunities.
All children learn, but some learn better, faster, and more easily than others. Certainly some learners are more able or less able, but a key difference in any learner’s acquisition of knowledge is motivation.
Motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation, or internalized motivation, is one in which learners find their own personal reasons for learning. Extrinsic, or externalized, motivation is when learners are driven by others’ ideas of what to learn, how to learn it, and how success in learning might be measured. A challenge for teachers is how to move extrinsically motivated learners to become intrinsically motivated ones. Achieving this shift fosters better attitudes toward learning and develops a culture of lifelong learning. Continue reading