Motivation And Its Effect On The Classroom

967 Words4 Pages
True motivation comes from deep within our psyche. Using rewards in the classroom is something I always thought was teaching, or in some cases reinforcing, bad habits for our students. I firmly believe the motivation must be intrinsic to be sustainable. Extrinsic motivation is great in the short term, but my concern for students is what happens when that external motivator is inevitably removed. After observing two teachers, both of whom use some type of reward system in their respective classrooms, I have come to realize my view was quite narrow and that in small doses, extrinsic motivation has it merits. Using rewards does not instantly erase all forms of internal motivation if used properly, and can even bolster a student’s internal motivation over time as the rewards are gradually reduced.
M. Henley (2010) wrote, “not all educators agree that extrinsic rewards undermines intrinsic motivation. However, the evidence dictates that teachers should carefully consider the unintended negative consequences of using incentive to motivate students” (p118). External tactics can be used to teach intrinsic motivation if done thoughtfully. Two such examples of effective use of rewards to drive internal motivation and encourage positive behavior exist at Henley High School. Both of the classrooms in which I observed use a reward system, but how they use these rewards looks very different. Mrs. W is a special education teacher and found the use of rewards to be
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