Intrinsic Motivators for Learning

According to Daniel Pink, author of The Whole New Mind, when there is a simple set of rules and a clear desired outcome, then the old rewards and punishment approach to business works. This is because a reward system can help narrow the focus; unfortunately this approach also dulls thinking, limits our possibilities, and blocks creativity. I feel the same is true in education.  Pink has also noted that our new global economy has created a huge demand for creative and out of the box thinkers, while many of our schools are still mired in the rewards and punishment approach to education.

So what really motivates people?

Research has found that when three key elements are encouraged, performance increases. These elements are: 1) autonomy- the urge to direct our own lives; 2) mastery- the desire to get better and better at something that matters; and 3) purpose- the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves.? ?Unfortunately numerous teachers are now seeing that many students, because of the old “carrot and stick” approach to education have lost touch with their intrinsic motivators—autonomy, mastery, and purpose and are caught in the trap of “ having the right answer” instead of learning how to think for themselves.

Is there a way to move quickly and effectively from the old approach to a more appropriate approach for this time in history?

After hearing scores of enthusiastic responses about how the I Create What I Believe! (ICWIB) program helps students reconnect with their intrinsic motivators and seeing the results of the pilot study last year, I decided that I needed to get this program into the hands of as many teachers as possible. From my perspective, any teacher who is interested in implementing this program into his or her classroom should have it–regardless of the time or money they are able to invest in training.

With the help of many great hearts and minds this dream is now a reality!

We have created a user-friendly and stand-alone professional training kit for educators–– the new I Create What I Believe! Deluxe Teacher’s Edition kit.  This comprehensive kit enables teachers to learn and implement the program without the time or money constraints of extensive training. To accomplish this we are creating two additional DVDs (an Activity Tutorial and an Instructional Guide) to provide teachers with hands-on training of the exploratory activities and pivotal science behind this program that is normally only taught in multiple day workshops.  To view DVD trailers: (

To help fund the engineering of the Activity Tutorial and Instructional Guide DVDs, we are offering a pre-production sale of the new ICWIB Deluxe Teacher’s Edition Kit. The pre-production sale price for the ICWIB Deluxe Teacher’s Edition Kit is $160–a $40 savings off the regular price of $200. The training tools are also organized so that one teacher or multiple teachers can use a single kit. The Siskiyou Arts Council is serving as our fiscal sponsor, which means that all purchased kits and donations are tax deductible. (For more details: (

To further assist teachers we are also offering a “sponsor a teacher” program. If a teacher is interested in using this program in his or her classroom, but lacks the funds to purchase a kit they can request a free sponsored kit. (

If you would like to help bring the ICWIB program into classrooms across the country, here are some options on how to get involved:

If you would like to view a Daniel Pink’s video about what motivates us:

If you would like to learn more about the ICWIB program:

I welcome your participation and support in any manner that is relevant to your life and work, because I have seen these tools can make a significant difference in children’s lives–– especially those with learning and behavioral challenges!

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