Sudbury Perspective: Humans (and that includes kids) are hard-wired to learn and the motivation to do so comes from within.

I just learned about Daniel Pink. He received a BA from Northwestern University and a JD from Yale Law School. He has also received honorary degrees from the Pratt Institute (2013), the Ringling College of Art and Design (2011), and Westfield State University (2010). He is an expert on motivation, drawing on four decades of scientific research on human motivation, This is from his book, “Drive.”

“Most of us believe that the best way to motivate ourselves and others is with external rewards like money—the carrot-and-stick approach. That’s a mistake. The secret to high performance and satisfaction—at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.” Pink proves that humans embrace three elements of true motivation when they are present—autonomy, mastery, and purpose. (If you have 10 minutes, watch the YouTube RSA Animate video on motivation.)

Each of these things is fundamental to a successful Sudbury-style school. Children are given freedom and time to learn and ultimately develop the ability to see how what they learn will serve them in the future and what their place in the world would/could/will be.


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