Daniel Pink reports in Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us that a Cornell Unviersity study of 320 small businesses showed that businesses offering "autonomy grew at four times the rate of the control-oriented firms and had one-third the turnover."  He also says that "carrots and sticks" are actually counter productive in today's world. Just what should this tell us about how we structure education?

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I've also read Daniel Pink's book--you need to read Angela Maiers book the Passion Driven Classroom.  This tells us that we can achieve competency through letting go of all of the control.  Hard to imagine and the classroom looks quite different!

I will do that.  Thanks for the tip.


Success feeds on success and it takes hard work to succeed! Internally motivated persons who work hard to accomplish set goals are rewarded with knowledge of their inherent worth and that is a much more powerful motivator than any "carrot and stick" approach. We know this, now we must act on it!

The question of motivation bubbles to the surface almost immediately in CBE conversations.  I think you are exactly right--carrots and sticks are counterproductive.  Why do we hold so tightly to the idea that credits and grades factor as proper motivators for students?

Getting the magical "A" on a report card only means something because the grown-ups in the education institution have worked hard to give it value--telling kids a story about the importance of GPA, transcripts, and class rank from the moment they enter middle school.  

The story goes like this:  good grades = scholarships = college = job = money = happiness.  

Today's kids aren't buying what we have been selling.  Instead, what if educators started promoting the value of learning, accomplishing, creating, building, dreaming and innovating as a pathway to a rich and meaningful life?  


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