Research: The American Psychological Association recently published a guide for schools to include psychological science in teaching and learning practices. In it, they note that students do better and enjoy learning more when they are intrinsically rather than extrinsically motivated. Intrinsic motivation comes from the feeling of success, confidence, and autonomy. Extrinsic motivation depends upon rewards and punishments. Teachers can foster intrinsic motivation by allowing choice in achievement activities, providing optimal levels of challenge, allowing creative ways to demonstrate knowledge, and providing continuous feedback.
Practice: When performance is tied to extrinsic rewards such as grades, test scores, and class ranking, self esteem and confidence can suffer. Such rigid systems of comparison can even result in anxiety and depression. By removing the pressures associated with these elements of schooling, Chrysalis students are allowed the space to develop intrinsic motivation. They choose how they will perform, the direction of their courses, and work in an environment where they will make the most progress. This develops their confidence and they perform better.