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How To Support Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivations in Students


Motivation is a driving force that helps individuals achieve their goals and aspirations. When it comes to students, motivation plays a crucial role in their learning and academic success. There are two main types of motivation that students can experience: intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.


Intrinsic motivation refers to the internal drive that individuals have to engage in a certain activity because they find it interesting or enjoyable. For students, this can mean being motivated to learn a new subject because they find it fascinating, or working on a project because they are passionate about the topic. Intrinsic motivation is often considered to be more powerful and sustainable than extrinsic motivation, as it comes from within the individual and is not dependent on external rewards or incentives.


To cater to a student's intrinsic motivation in the classroom, teachers can use a variety of strategies to create a positive and engaging learning environment.


  • Provide opportunities for autonomy: Students who are given the opportunity to make choices and decisions about their learning are more likely to be intrinsically motivated. Teachers can do this by giving students a say in what they learn, how they learn, and how they will be assessed.


  • Encourage self-expression: Allowing students to express themselves in different ways, such as through writing, art, or group projects, can help to tap into their intrinsic motivation.


  • Create interest-based learning: Teachers and parents can create interest-based learning opportunities that align with students' passions and interests. This can make learning more engaging and meaningful for students.


  • Allow for student-led discussions: Giving students the opportunity to lead class discussions or debates can help to tap into their intrinsic motivation by making them feel like their voice is heard and valued.


Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, refers to the external factors that influence an individual to engage in a certain activity. This can include rewards, such as grades or praise, or punishments, such as detention or a lower grade. For students, extrinsic motivation can come from a desire to please their parents or teachers, or to avoid negative consequences. While extrinsic motivation can be effective in the short term, it is often not sustainable in the long term, as the individual may lose interest in the activity once the external rewards or incentives are removed.


To cater to a student's extrinsic motivation in the classroom, teachers can use a variety of strategies to provide rewards and incentives that motivate students to engage in certain behaviors or activities.


  • Set clear goals: Setting clear and measurable goals for students can provide them with a sense of purpose and direction, and can serve as a motivator to work towards achieving them.


  • Use rewards and incentives: Rewards and incentives, such as grades, praise, or tokens, can be used to motivate students to engage in certain behaviors or activities.


  • Provide opportunities for competition: Creating a competitive environment in the classroom, such as through games or contests, can motivate students to engage in learning activities.



It's important to note that both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation can play a role in a student's learning and academic success. However, research suggests that students who are primarily motivated by intrinsic factors tend to be more engaged and successful in their studies than those who are primarily motivated by extrinsic factors. To promote intrinsic motivation in students, teachers and parents can help create a positive and engaging learning environment, encourage students to explore their interests and passions, and provide opportunities for autonomy and self-expression.


Intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation are two types of motivation that can influence a student's learning and academic success. Intrinsic motivation comes from within the individual, while extrinsic motivation is influenced by external factors. While both types of motivation can be effective, intrinsic motivation is often considered to be more powerful and sustainable in the long term. Teachers and parents can promote intrinsic motivation in students by creating a positive and engaging learning environment and encouraging students to explore their interests and passions.


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