DRIVE, a new book that offers a glimmer of hope on "When Will People Get It?" front
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- Subject: DRIVE, a new book that offers a glimmer of hope on "When Will People Get It?" front
- From: Claudia Ayers <email@example.com>
- Date: Sun, 17 Jan 2010 15:36:11 -0800
- Cc: Claudia Ayers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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Claudia cut and paste all that follows from Doug Johnson's Blue Skunk Blog:
So it's been with great pleasure that I just finished reading a
pre-publication copy of Daniel Pink's newest book *Drive: The Surprising
Truth About What Motivates Us* <http://www.danpink.com/drive
>. (I was lucky
enough to get the copy since Mr. Pink and his publicist liked my son's
review of his last
As Blue Skunk readers know, I am a Daniel Pink fan - finding both A Whole
fascinating and important. And I am very happy to report that
*Drive* continues the Pink's streak of "must-read" books for educators -
well, for everyone.
*Drive* attempts to answer questions like: How do you explain the success of
Wikipedia, open source software and other recent ventures in which creators/
participants do not reap a financial reward? Why has the U.S. economy done
so poorly this decade? Why has there been such an increase in voluntarism in
our society? And what can businesses learn about motivating individuals who
value non-monetary rewards?
Pink examines the evolution of human motivation from what he describes as
Motivation 1.0 (eat or be eaten) to Motivation 2.0 (reward = more of a
behavior; punishment = less of a behavior) to Motivation 3.0 (intrinsic
motivation). Those most driven by Motivation 3.0 he labels as Type I
individuals who need autonomy, mastery and purpose in their work.
The book does a great job in tracing the history of motivational theory. One
of its strongest chapters is on why extrinsic rewards (carrots and sticks)
don't work very well. Pink's conclusions echo Alfie Kohn's* Punished by
Rewards* (see Creating Fat Kids Who Don't Like to
Kohn's book along with Csikszentmihalyi's *Flow* are among "15 Essential
Books" for Type I readers Pink lists. This popularization of the study of
motivation should be required reading by all educational policy makers.
*Drive* resonated with me on three levels:
*1. What does Motivation 3.0 tell us about how we "do" school?* Pink
dedicates a "toolkit" just to parents and teachers. In it, he offers a
"3-part Type I Test for Homework" in which he suggest teachers to ask these
questions about any assignment:
· Am I offering students any autonomy over how and when to do this
· Does this assignment promote mastery by offering a a novel, engaging
task (as opposed to rote reformulation of something already covered in
· Do my students understand the purpose of the this assignment? That
is, can they see how doing this additional activity at home contributes to
the larger enterprise in which the class is engaged?
Pink also summarizes Carol Dweck's work about the difference between
performance goals and learning goals. "Getting an A in French is a
performance goal. Being able to speak French is a learning goal."
*2. What does Motivation 3.0 tell us about how we "manage" both our
technology staff and our teachers?* My sense is that most teachers and
certainly librarians already fall into the Type I motivational category. We
are motivated not by our (enormous) salaries but by autonomy, purpose and
mastery. But the current political climate is removing a good deal of Type I
motivation from schools. Pay for student performance on test scores,
teacher-proofing curricula and other dubious means of trying to add
accountability to the profession are leeching the art and creativity from
Oh, this need for autonomy by Type I librarians certainly helps explain why
fixed schedules are so unpopular in the profession!
As a "manager" I've always done my best to keep from micro-managing my staff
and giving them as much autonomy as possible. What I can do better is more
fully discuss the purpose behind our tech's important work. Sigh...
*3. What does Motivation 3.0 tell me about myself? *As I examine my own
career path, I think I've become increasingly Type I - intrinsically
motivated. Moving from the classroom to the library to an administrative job
certainly has increased my autonomy. And I've always wanted just enough
money so that I don't really need to worry much about money. Sorry kids, no
This book might also help those of us who blog, who work on open source
software, who put our work in the Creative Commons, who volunteer, who seem
to do a lot of work without any direct compensation understand why we do
these things instead of (or in addition) to playing golf.
And finally, the book's chapter on "Mastery" helps me understand why I've
never written an article, never given a talk or never taught a lesson that
couldn't be improved. Tweaking, revising, improving - it's never ending fun!
Pink's own words serve as a fine conclusion:
*We know that human beings are not merely smaller, slower, better-smelling
horses galloping after that day's carrot. We know - if we've spent time with
young children or remember ourselves at our best - that we are not destined
to be passive and compliant, but designed to be active and engaged. And we
know that the richest experiences in our lives aren't when we're clamoring
for validation from others, but when we're listening to our own voice -
doing something that matters, doing it well, and doing it in the service of
a cause greater than ourselves.*
Add this book to your personal collection. It would make a great
professional discussion read as well. I get the sense Pink facing a huge
uphill battle in changing minds and actions among our leaders about
motivation - especially those in business.
But at least he (and I hope some of us) can at least say, "We tried."
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