Choice Theory

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Reflection Article #3: “Giving Students What They Want” Psychology of Learning
The article entitled “Giving students what they need” explored internal and external motivation approaches in the classroom. Student motivation is one of the key components to success. Educators want their students to be motivated because motivated students do better. “Unmotivated students will probably do poor work or no work, learn little, and often exhibit irresponsible or disruptive behaviors” (Erwin, 2003, p. 19). There are two types of motivation-external and internal. “External motivation, the proverbial carrot and stick approach, predominates not only in most classrooms but also in the world” (Erwin, 2003, P. 20). However, this approach is not as effective as internal motivation because it causes students to rely on rewards. The rewards often have to increase in value each time the desired behavior is achieved. It doesn’t teach students to do well for the right reasons. Internal motivation is a wiser choice for educators to use with students because it helps to fulfill some of the students’ basic needs. Choice theory by William Glasser explores internal motivation and its impact on relationships. “According to Choice Theory, five basic needs constitute the source of internal motivation and guide all behavior” (Erwin, 2003, p. 21). The five basic needs are survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun. Survival is one of the basic needs that our students need to have met. The importance of having the survival need fulfilled is that it allows individuals to feel a sense of order and security. Educators can help fulfill this need in the classroom by developing structured and consistent classroom procedures, allowing students to have snacks and drinks, and creating rules that allow a safe and respected environment (Erwin, 2003, p. 21). Love and belonging is another essential need that students need fulfilled. Humans need to feel...
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