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reAct methodological design

reAct methodological design

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Published by Thieme Hennis
the reAct methodological design. More info on http://reactproject.eu
the reAct methodological design. More info on http://reactproject.eu

More info:

Published by: Thieme Hennis on Jan 27, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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When an individual is motivated, it means he is “moved to do something (Ryan and Deci

2000b).” Ryan and Deci (2000) distinguish between two forms of being motivated: intrinsic

and extrinsic. Intrinsically motivated people do something because of the inherent

satisfaction they get from the activity. Extrinsically motivated people do something because

of external incentives, rewards or pressures. "Extrinsic motivation thus contrasts with

intrinsic motivation, which refers to doing an activity simply for the enjoyment of the activity

itself, rather than its instrumental value (Ryan and Deci 2000)." The Cognitive Evaluation

Theory (CET) by Ryan and Deci (2000) lists three innate psychological needs (competence,


autonomy, and a sense of relatedness), which when satisfied lead to increased intrinsic

motivation. Intrinsic motivation comes from rewards inherent to a task or activity itself.

Lepper argues that intrinsic motivational orientation may have significant instructional

benefits (Lepper 1988). Malone (1981) has argued that the following characteristics are

common to all intrinsically motivating learning environments: challenge, fantasy, and

curiosity. Malone and Lepper later added ‘control’ to the list of characteristics (Malone and

Lepper 1987; Lepper 1988).

Traditional education is mainly based on extrinsic motivation. External incentives are tests,

assessments, the final exams, the curriculum, and the subsequent favors of getting a

certificate that opens possibilities for new studies or jobs. Although the final goals of

secondary education provide good opportunities for life, it is difficult for some students to

keep this long-term advantage in mind all the way through the years they have to attend

school. In addition, there are many instances in school life where the relation to the final goal

of secondary education is lost and students have to learn instrumentally content that is

hardly useful for school success. Unfortunately, schools stick to the curriculum that is

mandatory and the exercises coming along with that do not always suit students interests

today. As a consequence, students get disconnected from the educational system. Teachers

are considered irrelevant, which is even worse than being hated. Of course, school as an

institution is not the only factor for students to drop out. Students dropping out appear to

have also other problems most of the time. Psychological characteristics and social

circumstances may play an important role as well. But whatever the causes for dropping out,

for those students it is even more important that learning should become an activity they are

motivated for. It might be clear that for those students sticking to the compulsory curriculum

is apparently not the way to go. Instead, as motivation is key for those drop-out students,

their interests should become the major issue for choosing content and configuring

appropriate learning arrangements. Their interests will help them to reconsider learning as

relevant and joyful. Experiences as described in the Urway Project have shown that such a

pedagogy of following the students’ interests will foster self-esteem and will help students to

make a restart in learning and participation on the labour market.

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