Steve Reifman

Steve Reifman

 In this blog post I build on the premise of my previous post by sharing a story about how we can use inspiration in our classrooms to bring out the best in students and nurture their intrinsic motivation to learn and grow.

The story features a previous student of mine whom we shall call Gary.

 In this blog post I continue describing the forces that nurture intrinsic motivation.  Instead of trying to gain temporary obedience from our students through the use of rewards and punishments, these forces help us in our attempts to win our students’ hearts and minds and enlist a genuine commitment to the worthwhile aims and objectives we are trying to promote in our classrooms.

In this blog post I continue describing the forces that nurture intrinsic motivation.  Instead of trying to gain temporary obedience from our students through the use of rewards and punishments, these forces help us in our attempts to win our students’ hearts and minds and enlist a genuine commitment to the worthwhile aims and objectives we are trying to promote in our classrooms.

In this blog post I continue describing the forces that nurture intrinsic motivation.  Instead of trying to gain temporary obedience from our students through the use of rewards and punishments, these forces help us in our attempts to win our students’ hearts and minds and enlist a genuine commitment to the worthwhile aims and objectives we are trying to promote in our classrooms.

In this blog post I continue describing the forces that nurture intrinsic motivation.  Instead of trying to gain temporary obedience from our students through the use of rewards and punishments, these forces help us in our attempts to win our students’ hearts and minds and enlist a genuine commitment to the worthwhile aims and objectives we are trying to promote in our classrooms.

In this blog post I continue describing the forces that nurture intrinsic motivation.  I have identified ten of these forces, and I will describe one per post over the next few months.  Focusing on and emphasizing these forces helps teachers create an engaging, productive classroom environment that brings out the best in students.  For teachers who may be a bit nervous about the prospect of managing a group of children without relying on rewards and punishments, these forces offer a far more powerful, far more genuine alternative to traditional classroom management approaches that are rooted in Douglas McGregor’s Theory X and depend on extrinsic motivation.

In this blog post I begin describing the forces that nurture intrinsic motivation.  There are ten of them, and I will describe one per post over the next few months.  Focusing on and emphasizing these forces helps teachers create an engaging, productive classroom environment that brings out the best in students.  For teachers who may be a bit nervous about the prospect of managing a group of children without relying on rewards and punishments, these forces offer a far more powerful, far more genuine alternative to traditional classroom management approaches that are rooted in Douglas McGregor’s Theory X and rely on extrinsic motivation.

 Because of the many problems associated with using rewards and punishments in the classroom, it becomes clear that neither rewarding nor punishing students offers teachers a management approach consistent with quality principles.  The choice that so many educators face of whether to emphasize punishments or rewards in their classrooms is not really a choice at all.  Both methods are extrinsic.  Both seek to control the actions of students based on the promise that if you do this, this will happen to you, and, as a result, present a similar array of problems.  Both rest on the assumptions of Theory X put forth by Douglas McGregor (described in Blog Post #5), and both exist because they are believed to be necessary to maintain order and effort.

In my most recent posts I have been talking about the choices we have available to us when it comes to managing our students.  One choice is rooted in Douglas McGragor’s Theory X (described in previous post) and requires the use of rewards and/or punishments to control student behavior and effort due to the belief  that students dislike work and will avoid it if they can.  The other choice is rooted in Theory Y and takes advantage of the idea that students want to work hard and will commit themselves fully to objectives that mean something to them.

Sunday, 03 April 2011 21:50

How We Manage Our Students

In my most recent blog post I described the two main choices we have as teachers in managing our students.  The first choice is the most traditional and the most common, and it relies on the use of extrinsic motivation, namely rewards and punishments.  Though this choice is the one most of us learn in our credential programs, read about in our textbooks, and observe in our student teaching assignments, extrinsic motivation does nothing more than produce temporary obedience and carries with it a large cost because it undermines many of the worthwhile ideals and priorities we strive to promote in our classrooms.