What motivates people to do what they do? Why do some people work harder than others? What will best get your kids to want to work harder, learn more, develop into better people? These are questions that as a classroom teacher you ask yourself almost daily (especially the last one!)
This week after so many people telling me I should do so, I started reading the book, Drive by Daniel Pink. It is not explicitly an education book, in fact, it is more about business than education. The start of the book has already developed my thought on how we think, learn, and grow. This year in my own classroom I had many students that struggled with motivation. That is a rarity for working with primary grade kids. I tried EVERYTHING I could come up with to help build their motivation. It was not effective for most of them until I started using Genius Hour.
Genius Hour plays right into some of the concepts I am starting to explore in Drive. Ideally, the creation, problem solving, and developing done in Genius Hour is able to tap into that innate desire of people to learn. Giving kids a chance to explore, solve, and create built their excitement. What did not get them to expand was rewards. It was a an interesting concept, why weren’t they interested in rewards and prizes?
So, I bought better prizes. That was wasteful! They only cared when they were close to getting a prize! External motivators did not build these students, it was the intrinsic development of motivation through a desire to create something incredible that made these students really go.
I have a long way to go in this book, but I am excited in thinking about how this will change my classroom and how it will change the way I build motivation with my kids.