Saturday, September 12, 2009


SEP122009, originally uploaded by colemama.

Normally Saturday mornings are ideal times to find games going on around town, but the rainy conditions kept some away from play. It looks like the golfers and the basketball players are a much hardier group than those tennis players! ;) Wonder if there's a universal motivator that keeps some out of the rain and others apathetic towards the weather when pursuing a fun activity?

Daniel Pink (author of highly recommended reading, A Whole New Mind) on TED video describes the value of intrinsic motivation and how business models' emphasis on extrinsic motivation are outdated and inaccurate. The power of intrinsic motivation is certainly not new - it's been a long-desired goal for our students in learning. Instead, schools (like businesses), have turned to external motivators (grades, scholarship promises, and other rewards) to guide student education. So, now have we 'created a monster'? Are students limiting their time and energy to just doing the minimal as tied to the external standard? Just the other day, a 11th grader who admittedly doesn't read well asked me why our HS Library doesn't do "Reading Counts" as that is the program that motivated her to read in middle school...Did this incentive model really serve the purpose of learning? Are our teachers losing opportunities for helping students develop a 'love for learning' when they must focus on standardized assessments and packaged programmed instruction? Will we find a way to focus on intrinsic, rather than extrinsic, motivating factors in the future?

This photograph is a response to Carol Van Hook's "Game is On" 365 Flickr Challenge for September 2009 . Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club & Gulfview Middle School, Naples, FL


  1. Nice montage. As to your comments on schools - I do think we limit students when we tie to external standards. Look at the accomplishments of students who write for real audiences - for authentic communication. It is then they understand the value of clear communication.

  2. Very nice pictures - can't really comment motivation...