Marshmallows and Traffic Cops: What the Research Says about Motivation

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The Primary classroom - Exploring the research into motivation and deferring gratification

About this module

This session looks at the role played by intrinsic and extrinsic motivators in the primary classroom. It explores what the research shows are some key issues around extrinsic motivators and the effects that these can have on intrinsic motivation. The session also considers what the evidence says about the importance of deferred gratification for positive long-term educational outcomes and why we need to support children to develop self-regulation. The importance of this session is that it asks teachers to reflect on the systems currently in use in their schools and the issues that these may be inadvertently causing.

This module is suitable for teachers, early career teachers, ECT mentors, teaching assistants, learning support assistant and senior leaders supporting staff with behaviour.

What you will learn:
  • Reflect on the impact of rewards and sanctions on children’s motivation
  • Understand why extrinsic motivators can be detrimental to intrinsic motivation
  • Consider why children break the rules
  • Explore the concept of deferred gratification and what research says about the importance of developing impulse control