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Name: Ndlovu Makhosonke

Reg. No: L012 0328F

Course Name: Psychology

Programme: Post Graduate Diploma in Education

Assignment Title:

Assess the value of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in teaching and learning

Motivation as an important concept in education, both for teachers and students has called for
attention from different educational researchers like Guay, Boggiano and Vallerand, (2001);
Harter, (1981); Newman, (1990) among others. Psychologists have indicated that motivation can
be divided into two distinct forms that is intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. However being
imperative to note is that not all motivation forms have the same effect on human learning and
behaviors. Therefore, this essay seeks to assess the value of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in
teaching and learning. As this essay unfolds it will give the definition of motivation, intrinsic
motivation and extrinsic motivation, then go straight to assess their values in teaching and
By definition motivation refers to reasons that underlie behavior that is characterized by
willingness and volition (Abbeduto and Frank, 2005) while Gredler, Broussard and Garrison
(2004) broadly define motivation as the attribute that moves us to do or not to do something.
However some scholars like Adelman and Taylor (1990), on the other hand have seen motivation
as a constellation of closely related beliefs, perceptions, values, interests, and actions. Hence,
being crucial to note is that motivation in children predicts motivation later in life, and the
stability of this relationship strengthens with age.
Intrinsic motivation as defined by Karageorghis and Terry, (1969) refers to motivation to engage
in an activity for its own sake. It is perceived as a type of motivation leading to highly valued
outcomes such as creativity, quality, spontaneity, and vitality as pupils who are intrinsically
motivated perform tasks and engage in behaviors because they find them enjoyable. According to
Lindenberg (2001), this type of motivation has recently been labeled enjoyment-based intrinsic
motivation. Thus through this motivation pupils find simply participating in the activity as

reward enough, for example a learner may feel happy when running in athletics sports and feels
happy even afterwards and needs no other motivator to continue running.
On the other hand, extrinsic motivation is motivation to perform and succeed for the sake of
accomplishing a specific result or outcome (Barbara 1993). Some authorities like Brown (2007)
view extrinsic motivation as a behavior that is driven by external rewards such as money, fame,
grades, and praise. This type of motivation arises from outside the individual, as opposed to
intrinsic motivation, which originates inside of the individual. For example Mandy always comes
early to school because her teacher always call her a hardworking girl while Brian is working
hard this term because her mother promised to buy him a bicycle if he passes five subjects. All
these two examples show extrinsically motivated situations.
Looking at the value of intrinsic motivation in teaching and learning it should be noted that
McKeachie (1999) notes that this form of motivation nurtures and encourages the habit of lifelong learning. As students leave school, external motivators for learning, such as grades and
praise, are replaced by long-term goals and less immediate rewards. Intrinsic motivation
encourages us to continue learning regardless of what rewards come our way, unlike extrinsic
motivation which focuses only on the external behavior, and not on the internal needs and values
of a person (Reeve, 2001).
However, some authorities like Bandura, (1977) indicate that extrinsic motivation is essential in
teaching and learning as it is quick in changing behaviors especial when children initially have
minimal interest in an activity. For a variety of genetic and experiential reasons, some children
are not inclined to engage in certain academic behaviors that teachers deem valuable (Cameron,
2001). For example, some children may show little interest in developing those skills and may
even resist teacher attempts to help them develop print-related skills. If left to their initiative,

these students might remain illiterate and miss out on many personal development opportunities
that reading and writing could afford. However, by merely using tangible rewards for performing
low-interest tasks can change their behaviors for the positive. Thus with this on hand one may
safely say extrinsic motivation is important in teaching and learning. Different from this point is
Masters and Mokros, (1973) who indicate that extrinsic motivation lays a perfect ground for
dependency syndrome especial when offered excessively. The scholar claims that this is so
because when rewards are no longer offered children are likely to lose all their motivation and
fail to meet the required standards. Therefore, it hence becomes crucial to adopt a critical
approach when implementing extrinsic motivation.
Different from the point above is Karageorghis and Terry, (1969) who claim that intrinsic is of
high value in teaching and learning because it creates both a student-centered classroom and
hands-on learning. When students are intrinsically motivated they tend to prefer to be involved
in their own learning. Scholars like Skinner (1953), go on to add that student-centered classroom
and hands-on learning promote long-lasting mastery of concepts rather than simply aiming for a
performance goal. This therefore enables pupils to be more productive even in their life time
hence making a life-changing impact on the student (Ormrod, 2014). For example pupils who are
intrinsically motivated in agriculture will practice gardening at school and also use their acquired
skill to make their own gardens at home without any supervision.
Scholars like Bandura (1977), Korb (2012) and Reeve (2001) agree in opinion that extrinsic
motivation is of high value in teaching and learning as rewards which support the feeling of
being competent and self-determined tend to enhance intrinsic motivation. Thus one may safely
say extrinsic motivation can lay foundation for intrinsic motivation especial when there are
gradual withdrawed. For example extrinsically motivated teachers who get monthly incentive are

more prepared even to work over time. However, Ormrod (2014), differs from the above point
claiming that the case is opposite as extrinsic rewards, which are perceived as controlling,
prompt a change in perceived locus of causality from the internal to the external and diminish the
feeling of self-determination, thereby harming intrinsic motivation especial when rewards are
offered excessively. The scholar terms this as over justification effect. For example extrinsically
motivated teachers who are used to get monthly incentive as their motivator are more like to
poorly perform after incentive withdrawal. In analyses it should be realized that extrinsic
motivation if well implemented can be of high value in teaching and learning.
Coming from another angle is Deci et al. (1999) who indicate that intrinsic motivation has more
value in teaching and learning over extrinsic motivation. The scholar highlights that teachers and
students who are intrinsically motivated have higher performance, greater persistence in the face
of challenges, and greater overall wellbeing for the individual. This tends to lead to more
engagement with the learning environment, more active pursuit of learning interests, and more
effort, which is necessary for the development of skills and abilities (Reeve, 2001). Whilst the
above said holds true (Maehr and Stallings (1972) argue and say intrinsic motivation is difficult
to achieve as it requires educators to have an in-depth knowledge of each pupils. With this on
hand one may argue and say intrinsic motivation is of no value in teaching and learning. In
analysis, the fact that intrinsic motivation improves performance of both teachers and pupils, it
makes it to be of high value.
Extrinsic motivation is of value in teaching and learning because it requires little knowledge of
the student while ensuring good performance of pupils especial in a short term. This is so
because it brings teachers to concentration and lesson preparedness as their physiological needs
(food, water, air, shelter, clothing among others) will be addressed as Maslow puts it that for

motivation to occur physiological needs have to be satisfied to ensure physical survival.

Therefore through extrinsic motivation these needs can be addressed thereby ensuring good
performance. However, scholars like Brown (2007) and vanderbilt university psychologists,
indicate that extrinsic motivation affects the quality of learning. For example, a teacher may give
a boy a treat for entering the classroom quietly with the hope that the reward will increase the
chance that the boy will enter the classroom quietly the next time. The teacher may think that he
or she is promoting productive classroom environment, but the boy only learns what behaviors
earn a treat. He does not learn about the value of a productive classroom environment. With this
on hand one may say the value of extrinsic motivation is not sustainable in teaching and learning.
Intrinsic motivation is crucial in teaching and learning as it brings confidence and logic among
students (Lepper, 2007). For example Condry and Chambers (1978) in their study of intrinsic
motivation and the process of learning, found that when students were confronted with complex
intellectual tasks, those with an intrinsic orientation used more logical information-gathering and
decision-making strategies than students who were extrinsically oriented. Besides, students with
an intrinsic orientation also tend to prefer tasks that are moderately challenging, whereas
extrinsically oriented students gravitate toward tasks that are low in degree of difficulty, this is
mainly due to their level of confidence. Thus with this, one may say intrinsic motivation brings
confidence and logic among students, hence a value in teaching and learning.
Having examined this essay one may clearly see that motivation plays a crucial role in teaching
and learning. Therefore in conclusion, although some extrinsic rewards may be necessary to get
students started in an education program, the bulk of content should be centered on skills that
promote intrinsic motivation and lead to the mastery of generalized skills since intrinsic
motivation plays a larger role in teaching and learning.

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