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Intrinsic And Extrinsic Motivation Essay

3603 words - 14 pages

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Students are generally classified by two different types of motivation, which are, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. These two types of motivation are the basis for a student’s action and their view of how they perceive schooling and even life. The first type of motivation is intrinsic motivation, which “generally refers to motivation to engage in an activity because that activity is enjoyable and satisfying to do” (Noels, Pelletier, Clément, & Vallerand, pg. 38, 2003). Intrinsic motivation is generally the best type of motivation for students to have, because doing certain activities is not being forced upon them; however, the students are enjoying the activities by themselves. This also leads to students creating interesting and self determining solutions for how to problem solve because they are working hard in order to solve the problem or do the activity. An example of intrinsic motivation can be seen everyday when a student thoroughly enjoys a class that they are taking. For example, let us say that a student is taking a math class and they are enticed by math. That student will most likely go home and work on the math homework first and devote the most time to it, because the student is intrinsically motivated to do it. The second major type of motivation is extrinsic motivation. According to Wlodkowski, in extrinsic motivation systems, teachers are perceived to motivate students through the engineering of rewards and punishments (1999). This type of motivation is used when students are not intrinsically motivated and must have some type of “push” in order to complete an assignment or learn a certain type of area. The main goal for teachers is to try and make students intrinsically motivated so that the student has a desire to learn instead of having to use punishments and rewards, which basically force students to be motivated.

Four Important Age Groups

Achieving motivation in the classroom setting is a very difficult task especially since every person is motivated differently and different types of motivation must be applied depending on the age group of the students. There are four major groups that are categorized by age.

The first major age group is the primary-grade students, which consist of students in elementary school, Kindergarten through fifth grade. Motivation for this age group can be achieved in a positive physical environment and a psychological atmosphere. Creating a positive physical environment for the students could involve having the classroom decorated with brightly colored signs and posters (Doyle, 1986). This environment would create a friendly atmosphere that would inspire students to be interested in what they are doing in the classroom. In Lumsden’s article on students’ motivation to learn, she states, “Young children appear to be propelled by curiosity, driven by an intense need to explore, interact with, and make sense of their environment”...

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