Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel Pink Essays

Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel Pink Essays

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Ever since I began my teaching career, I have been fascinated with the topic of motivation and the role it plays in student learning. Daniel Pink’s book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, has been on my personal reading list for a couple of years now, and I was elated to find that it was one of the recommended books to read for this assignment. I have often wondered why some of my students, and even one of my own children, are more internally driven than others to complete a given task. Now that I am in the process of becoming a school administrator, my curiosity about what motivates adults has been heightened, as well. In the hopes of finding some insight, and perhaps the answers to some of my burning questions, I finally picked up Daniel Pink’s book and began reading.
Drive begins with a look at the work of scientists, Harry Harlow and Edward Deci and their early experiments on motivation. As a result of their research on motivational theory, these two individuals uncovered a completely different and unique way of looking at what drives human behavior. Harlow, in his experiment with rhesus monkeys, and Deci, with his Soma puzzle cubes, found that rewards and were not the only factors at work in motivating task completion. The notion of “intrinsic motivation”, or pursuing a task for the sake of enjoyment and self-fulfillment was born.
Prior to Harlow and Deci’s work, motivation could be explained in only one of two ways. The motivation to survive, also referred to by Pink as Motivation 1.0, has always been basic to our existence. Motivation 1.0 operates under the premise that “I need to do something” in order to get my basic needs met. It is a drive that dates back to the dawn of man and explains what...


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...ssional growth.” (Cunningham, 2009). If the research is showing us that students are more motivated and learn best in environments that are rich in autonomy, mastery, and purpose, then I, as a school principal, will need to be an advocate for that to happen in my school. Students who are offered a chance to connect with others in self-directed, meaningful, and rigorous activities are going to be more motivated to be here to learn. Teachers who provide students with this type of learning environment will be more happier and more satisfied, as well. Why? Because it works.



References and Bibliography
Cunningham, W.G., & Cordeiro, P.A. (2009). Educational leadership: A bridge to improved
practice. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.

Pink, D. H. (2009). Drive: the surprising truth behind what motivates us. New York: Riverhead
Books (Penguin Group).

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