What my guitar taught me about improving education - by Steve Joordens
I do agree with the main moral of Professor Joordens talk; that education is much more beneficial when it is taught in a fun way – in this way, the learning experience becomes more valuable rather than the final outcome. What i disagree about the talk was the example he gave about the Wikipedia assignment. The point of this example was to emphasize the fact that once the world has insight into what you have to offer, that motivates you and helps you enjoy what you are doing, since there will be this aspect of self –worth that is experienced . I believe that this point made by professor Joordens is only one facet of the whole story.
Looking back at history, one can name many important personalities who have been motivated and passionate about their work despite their notorious unpopularity. Pablo Picasso’s work was not appreciated until after his death, yet he still pursued his career of art until his death. Alfred Wegener discovered his theory of “continental drift” even though it was never given a chance. The point is that these people never had the satisfaction of experiencing that effect of self worth that other peoples’ appreciation of their work had on them – So what did they do?
In psychological terms, tasks can be motivating in two ways, intrinsically or extrinsically. Intrinsic motivation is motivation from the task itself, while extrinsic motivation is motivation due to external factor such as awards associated with the task. It is quite obvious that the type of motivation that Prof. Jordan’s is speaking of is extrinsic motivation, the degree of motivation people get from the knowledge that other’s are listening to and appreciating their work. My take on the matter is that more important than others’ knowledge of your own work, is simply the satisfaction of the work itself. If you love playing basketball, you continue to peruse it because the activity itself gives you joy, not because you are watched by many people in the stands... I could go into more detail into what exactly about the task itself makes it more motivating, like fitting the persons knowledge and skills to the task, but the point is that intrinsic motivation is much more powerful than extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation allows the person to enjoy what he is doing, not what he is getting out of what he is doing. Imagine a stock broker who got in to the field for the sole reason of a high salary, an abundance of cash bonuses and other benefits.. What if all of a sudden, the economy declined and firms began paying their brokers much less, with no more benefits and huge cash bonuses. Rational thinking says this…