An iPadding teacher’s view of “Drive” by Daniel H. Pink

Drive” is a book about motivation.This is a book for anyone who has charge of anyone else. leaders, teachers, sports coaches & parents all need to read this book. It discusses how we are starting a 3rd era in understanding motivation:

Motivation 1.0 (Primal)
Survival (Caveman)

Motivation 2.0 (External)
Civilisation’s introduction of “Carrot & Stick”
(Post-Caveman to ‘recently’)
Used in 20th Century schools

Motivation 3.0 (Intrinsic)
Autonomy, Mastery & Purpose = Genuine Drive
Used in 21st Century schools

It divides human activities into 2 types.

Type 1. Algorithmic. mundane, fixed tasks, “Get from A to B” (e.g. Paint Fence)

Type 2. Creative, heuristic, self-directed tasks (Design a new car / solve a problem the best way)

20th Century learning / Type 1 task / Motivation 2.0

20th Century teaching & learning generally hands out Type 1 tasks, e.g. All students do this worksheet / sum / diagram.
20th Century “Carrot and Stick” motivation techniques can work with these tasks as the result of the task is fixed and the goal of earning the carrot narrows the focus and diminishes creative thought but this suits a fixed aim.

21st Century learning / Type 2 task / Motivation 3.0

21st Century teaching & learning tries to create caring, creative, independently driven but collaborative students and in doing so generally hands out Type 2 tasks. Type 2 tasks are not susceptible to Carrot & Stick motivation techniques as the promised carrots’ negative effect on the creative thought and collaborative process means that students narrow their approach and will start short-cutting, even cheating to achieve any fixed aim and the desire to do the best job is replaced by the desire to obtain the carrot.

Teachers can learn a lot from the idea that for 100 years, schools have been run on the principles of Motivation 2.0. The idea that the students will not want to do the work and so “Carrots and Sticks” are used to encourage good and discourage bad behaviour. But Education’s move towards 21st Century learning is an indication of our new understanding that Motivation 3.0 principles mean that students will want to work if they have 1. Ownership (It’s their education not the teacher’s); 2. Progress (I have opportunity to master this) and 3. Context (There is a real-world application for this). This autonomy and thus motivation is increased massively by students having iPads!

The various apps offer such a wide variety of possible processes when solving a problem, creating a product or accessing information when and wherever they offer students an environment where they own their process and will be more intrinsically motivated to do the best they can on any task.


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