Motivation and Rewards. Jensen, E.

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Jensen, E. (1998) Motivation and Rewards.  Teaching with the brain in mind (62-70). Alexandria, VA: ASCD

Great article.  Jensen starts this chapter by introducing us to a bit of the history around the research surrounding intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.  While educators routinely use extrinsic/stimulus-response rewards it turns out that this type of motivation is only truly effective for “simple physical actions” not for “solving challenging cognitive problems, writing creatively, (or) designing and completing projects.”  So many of today’s classrooms are bases on flawed theory.  He then goes on to explain how and why intrinsic motivation works better.  That the brain is often perfectly satisfied to “pursue novelty and curiosity, embrace relevance, and bathe in the feedback from success” because it (the brain) creates it’s own rewards—called opiates.  He also offers a great model for increasing intrinsic motivation in “Supercamp” a 10-day camp he co-founded.

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