Nicole Scott

Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. David Coffman

Degree Award Date

Fall 2005


Elementary Level Teaching, motivational teaching, intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation


Early Childhood Education | Education | Educational Methods


Motivation is the foundation for teachers because it not only helps to raise the possibility students will learn even when the material is overwhelming or of little interest but also because it creates positive attitudes towards learning, which leads to success. The educational problem today is trying to intrinsically motivate students at the elementary level. Unfortunately, many motivational approaches in the classroom are abandoned because teachers are too oriented on academic goals dictated by the school's curriculum. Therefore, they teach as if students feel they have to rely on them (teaching the students how to learn), rather than teaching students they can learn (motivating them to learn). As a result, students are constantly extrinsically motivated and lack the intrinsic motivation that is needed for great success and true learning in their lives.

This study observably demonstrates the fact that education researchers and school leaders face the challenge of motivating teachers to high levels of performance, which in tum, greatly affects the students in the classroom because no academic goal can be reached without a positive attitude and motivation.

The major research question here is trifold: What exactly is intrinsic and extrinsic motivation? Why must it be so dominant in education? How can teachers link extrinsic and intrinsic motivation to students' success? My theory is that teachers must possess definite characteristics including enthusiasm, competence, and curiosity in order to have the ability and power to successfully link extrinsic and intrinsic motivation in order to motivate their students and lead them to success.