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Motivation From Within - Moving Away From Points, Prizes, and Pizza Parties


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Feburary 2015 workshop for educators in the Fort Nelson School District.
"The vast majority of our students enter our schools in kindergarten with high motivation to learn but as they progress up through the grades, motivation and engagement tends to fade. Due to the many challenges facing our schools, educators often resort to a variety of incentives to try to motivate students to learn and behave to help create the optimal learning environment. This session will challenge participants to rethink the use of incentives and encourage them to look at ways to create the conditions for students to motivate themselves. The following will be discussed:
the long term issues that can be caused by incentives/rewards
ideas to create the conditions for long term (more intrinsic) motivation
how short term punishments can create further behaviour problems with students
how behaviour is often a result of an unmet need or lagging skill
Participants will be challenged reflect upon their current views of student motivation and come away with ideas and strategies to move toward more intrinsic motivation in their classrooms and schools."

Published in: Education
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Motivation From Within - Moving Away From Points, Prizes, and Pizza Parties

  1. 1. Motivation from Within Moving Away From Points, Prizes, and Pizza Parties Chris Wejr @chriswejr Fort Nelson School District February Conference February 27, 2015 CC image from
  2. 2. 1. I can describe the long term concerns that can result from incentives for learning. 2. I can describe ways to create the conditions for more intrinsic, long term motivation in students. 3. I can describe the long term concerns with short term punishments to students. 4. I can start to analyze behaviour to determine the unmet need and/or lagging skills. Learning Intentions
  3. 3. Are we speaking the same language when we say “rewards”?
  4. 4. 10 years ago, I LOVED using rewards
  5. 5. “We cannot motivate others… we can only work to create the conditions for people to motivate themselves.” -- Image:
  6. 6. Intrinsic/Inte rnal Extrinsic/Ext ernal Image:
  7. 7. Daniel Pink Autonomy – Mastery - Purpose Clip adapted from
  8. 8. Got Rewards? PROS CONS
  9. 9. Be HARD on content… SOFT on people CC Image from Marin
  10. 10. Edward Deci and Richard Ryan Using rewards to motivate children may indeed control their behavior in some immediate sense, but they are likely to have negative consequences in terms of the children’s subsequent interest, persistence, and preferences for challenge. (Deci and Ryan) Controlling people’s behavior with reward contingencies undermines their intrinsic motivation…(Deci and Ryan) Children who were rewarded for doing discrimination- learning tasks learned less well and made more errors than did children who were not rewarded (Spence & Dunton) …extrinsic incentives can, by undermining self-perceived altruism, decrease intrinsic motivation to help others. (Batson) Research From Sansome et al Image
  11. 11. My issues with rewards in school...
  12. 12. Incentives Work… … in the short term CC Image from Judy Baxter
  13. 13. Sitcom Motivation Big Bang Theory The Office
  14. 14. You caught me being good. Can I get my prize now? Image: Kids get good at getting caught… being good.
  15. 15. “People use rewards expecting to gain the benefit of increasing another person’s motivation and behaviour, but in so doing, they often incur the unintentional and hidden cost of undermining that person’s intrinsic motivation toward the activity” -- Jonmarshall Reeve
  16. 16. Learning from Clark Griswold
  17. 17. CC Image from Bill Ferriter
  18. 18. If… Then vs First… Then
  19. 19. "Extrinsic rewards have a negative impact [on learning] because they undermine people’s taking responsibility for motivating and regulating themselves" Edward Deci CC Image from Sarah Sosiak
  20. 20. So what? Why is this research important? Now what? What do we DO now? Discuss in your groups. Share.
  21. 21. CC Image from c_ambler How???
  22. 22. Relationships Growth Mindset Leadership Criteria & Feedback Strengths & Interests Voice & Choice Creating The Conditions
  23. 23. Strengths & Interests
  24. 24. “We must guide our children toward recognition and understanding of their strengths.” -- Jenifer Fox -- Jenifer Fox CC Image:
  25. 25. Voice & Choice
  26. 26. CHOICES Passion Projects Innovation Days Inquiry Project-Based Learning Genius Hour Outdoor Education Blended Learning MakerEd
  27. 27. Students do not want learning made easy, they want it to mean something. They want to feel something, to be moved by what they learn. They want to connect deeply with things that matter and they want the chance to make a difference. State of FLOW. Canadian Education Association
  28. 28. Relationships
  29. 29. Can every learner name at least two adults in the building who believe he or she will be a success in life? Judy Halbert, Linda Kaser
  30. 30. Growth Mindset
  31. 31. Praise effort rather than ability. Focus on process.
  32. 32. Criteria & Feedback
  33. 33. Clear Criteria Do our studens know “what good looks like”? CC image from Simply CVR
  34. 34. [Descriptive] feedback is the single most powerful thing we can use to impact student learning -- John Hattie Image:
  35. 35. Leadership
  36. 36. How can we create opportunities for students to lead?
  37. 37. REFLECT: What are 2-3 things YOU can DO to help create the conditions for students to motivate themselves? Relationships Growth Mindset Leadership Criteria & Feedback Strengths & Interests Voice & Choice
  38. 38. Image:
  39. 39. Children and altruism… let’s not mess this up.
  40. 40. “It’s good to be good… rewards undermine this” Kimberly Schonert- Reichl CC Image from TEDxLangleyED
  41. 41. Giving credit to the right factors
  42. 42. A Culture of Reading Without Points, Prizes, or Pizza Parties
  43. 43. 5 Teachers, Collaborative Time, Teacher Autonomy, 1 Goal A Love of Reading
  44. 44. Promoting Books For Kids
  45. 45. Encouraging a Love of Books
  46. 46. • VIP Readers • Interest Inventories • Book Trailers • Book Shopping • FVRL Techno Petting Zoo • Buddy Reading • Book Swap • Book Character Dress-Up • School Wide Read-Ins
  47. 47. Doing the right thing... just because it is the right thing to do.
  48. 48. Moving Away From PUNISHMENT Image:
  49. 49. Students need teaching..... not punishment. Image:
  50. 50. Discipline vs Punishment Image:
  51. 51. Barbara Coloroso Zero Tolerance?
  52. 52. "The school discipline program is not working for the kids who aren't doing well and is not needed by the kids who are." -- Dr. Ross Greene
  53. 53. Dr. Ross Greene “Kids Do Well if They CAN”
  54. 54. What are the unmet needs and/or lagging skills?
  55. 55. The kids who need the most LOVE will often ask for it in the most unloving ways. ~ unknown CC image from Madstreetz
  56. 56. Clear expectations Do our students know what “good behaviour looks like”?
  57. 57. Creating the Conditions: Student Discipline
  58. 58. Logical Consequences • Related • Respectful • Reasonable Natural Consequences
  59. 59. RESTITUTION Give them a chance to make it right
  60. 60. They are humans. Be patient. It will be ok. Image:
  61. 61. Justin’s Story
  62. 62. How do we best support our students through teaching and discipline?
  63. 63. To create the condition for our students to motivate themselves, we need to: STOP doing doing START doing
  64. 64. Must Reads for Parents/Educators Drive Daniel Pink Lost at School Dr. Ross Greene Punished by Rewards Alfie Kohn Mindset Carol Dweck
  65. 65. Connect With Me @chriswejr