"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work."- Thomas Edison

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Blog Post #12

Watch the RSA Animate, The Secret Powers of Time by Philip Zambardo and Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by David Pink. Write a summary on these videos and explain how you feel the messages described affect the growth in people's education and their drive for success.

In Philip Zambardo's animation, he describes six different perceptions of time we have as humans. He explains how where we live and what is natural in our lives can affect our perception of time and the way we live. One topic he discussed that really got me thinking was that of the lives people create for themselves inside video games, more so now that there are rapid advancements in the designs. After people become accustomed to spending so much time creating their own worlds through video games, it is hard for them to have any drive in an old-fashioned education system where everything remains the same and nothing is under their control. It is apparent that humans need change, excitement, and control in life. If they do not have these things, no matter which perception of time they have, their motivation level for school is surely going to decrease.

Of course the ideal is to be future oriented, avoiding temptations and making your life for a successful future. Any of the other time zones are portrayed to cause almost sedentary lifestyles. However, regardless of an individual's perception of time, one question still arises. What is going to drive any given person to live for success?

As Dan Pink explains in his presentation, scientific studies have proven people are going to become less motivated the more they are required to follow along with a job's requirements and think cognitively. Pink states that it is a fact money is a motivator. However, these studies have shown even if given a greater award, those occupations requiring a higher incentive lead to worse performance. It has been determined by scientists that autonomy, mastery, and purpose lead to better performance. That is why it is important for work places to focus more on a person's self direction in engagement.

The example Dan Pink gives is the 24 hour period of autonomy the Atlassian Software Company is allowed each year. They are given this time to do whatever they would like, but must show their results afterwards with the company. This is done in a fun party setting, and through this method ideas for new products have been developed that would have never materialized otherwise. The other two factors that lead to better performance, mastery and purpose, are fulfilled through challenges to become better at a given task and inspiring work places. The longing for profit can be completely destroyed if the job is in no way self fulfilling or intriguing.

Although Dan Pink is discussing occupation in his creation, I feel what he says about motivation applies to education as well. If schools will begin looking at students as individuals and allowing them to make their own decisions based on autonomy, mastery, and purpose, they will surely be more motivated. Scientific studies and research have proved this. The reward should not just be good grades, but a true sense of self direction and challenging, fun tasks.


  1. WOW! Both are great. At least one will be added. Thanks!

  2. Amazing post! I thoroughly enjoyed it. Dr. Strange directed me to you because I did my post about video games and how we can use them in our teaching endeavors.

    Your post is definitely one of the best student posts I've read this semester. If you have time, checkout my post #12. I would appreciate your thoughts.