Teachers as persuaders

Daniel Pink raises some interesting issues during an interview about his new book (conducted by Larry Ferlazzo).  Pink shows how teachers must take the role of the ‘seller’ when implementing strategies to foster intrinsic motivation in students.  If we want our students to be autonomous and self-driven learners, we need to convince students to part with resources (such as time and effort) in exchange for long-term rewards (deeper knowledge).  Pink also suggests that learning should encourage student creativity, which, according to Pink, occurs where students are able to find rather than solve problems; this is a difficult concept to pin down according to Pink.  I am particularly interested in the first part which relates to the role of teachers in encouraging students to develop a sense of internally-driven motivation to learn.  I have noticed significant differences in the intrinsic motivation of my students on a whole class level (i.e: I observe that two classes in the same year level can have very different levels of motivation as a group).  Are these differences due to the individual differences of students within those groups, or are they due to other factors?   What role does the teacher play? Stay tuned: I am keen to investigate this issue further.


2 thoughts on “Teachers as persuaders

  1. Dear Penny

    Pink brings an interesting perspective to what we do as teachers. Most of us would not think of our role as “selling” content but I can see why he is making this analogy. I agree that an essential element of the teacher’s role is to facilitate the development of intrinsic motivation in our students. Thank you for highlighting this in your blog post.

    Kind regards


  2. Hi Penny,
    Great post. Thank you. My ‘gut’ feeling is that personalities, together, create the dynamic to risk, extend, challenge, or, thwart, stifle & limit. I believe that teachers can actively influence the affective learning environment. This takes a deliberate effort to know the student/s, how & when/where they feel comfortable to share & push their own boundaries. Interesting how this happens -sometimes easily, sometimes not. An interesting study. Persuasion, in this instance, I believe, is often partnered with permission -granted by the teacher, embraced by the student.
    I, of course, may be completely mistaken. I look forward to reading & learning more.

    Thanks again,

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