Intrinsic Motivation is More Effective Than External Force

It has been found that self-initiated motivation and authenticity is a trait that leads people to improved creativity, persistence, and performance. In order to achieve the most natural form of learning, it needs to come through a passion or interest… not from authority or forces outside of a person’s control.

When children are learning, the information is best when they see an application, have pleasure in the learning process, and receive a satisfaction of completing something. Children have higher levels of creativity, persistence, and performance when they have a choice in the matter and method of education. Additionally, the information is retained more effectively.

Healing Our Children: intrinsicmotivationLearning is not about getting high grades, doing well in school, and amassing knowledge. It is should be about learning to master internalized motivation; and allowing the individual to find joy learning alone and in groups.

When children are left on their own, they begin to ask questions and discover the world. These explorations allow them to understand and thrive. When the external forces are removed, then the inner drive to learn is set free.

As Healing Our Children describes

“Real authority therefore comes from within us, because real authority comes about through honesty, truth and love all endowed by the Creator.”

This real authority is only gained through being true to your inner self, and focusing on inner reflection. The problem with traditional schools is that they do not allow children to develop their inner authority. Instead, every bit of information that is presented is controlled by the institution.

Children can advance in self-motivated, authentic learning by allowing them to be set free from teachers, curriculum, and institutions; and allowing each child to realize their own potential for life.

Photo from:

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. I. (2000). Self-Determination Theory and the Facilitation of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, and Well-Being. American Psychologist , 55 (1), 68-78.