“The definition of motivation is to give reason, incentive, enthusiasm, or interest that causes a specific action or certain behavior. Motivation is present in every life function. Simple acts such as eating are motivated by hunger.

Education is motivated by desire for knowledge.

Motivators can be anything from reward to coercion. The extrinsic motivation provided by the teacher must be focused on the goal that the teacher sets for the student. Student motivation is never arbitrary but is always focused, by the teacher of the objectives and goals of the course. Good teachers know what motivates students.           

Definition of motivation There are two main kinds of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is internal. It occurs when people are compelled to do something out of pleasure, importance, or desire. Extrinsic motivation occurs when external factors compel the person to do something. However, there are many theories and labels that serve as sub tittles to the definition of motivation. For example: ‘I will give you a candy bar if you clean your room.’  This is an example of reward motivation.” From an ezine article written by Wendy Pan.[1] 

Passive learning occurs when a student listens to a teacher give a lecture about the subject being taught. The student does not interact with the teacher here, unless the teacher has modified the lecture to allow for interaction. There are advantages to this type of teaching. High on the list of the advantages is that it saves the teacher time. There is a better way to do this and this is accomplished by actively engaging the student to “do” what he or she is being taught to do. The use of questions, small group instructions, collaborative research projects, and other techniques move the student from passive learning to learning by doing. Some teachers balk at this because they want to show the students what they know. Isn’t it better, however, to have the students show the teacher what they know and what they have learned by receiving the instruction? Students who get tired of being lectured, and are not allowed to ask questions and have them answered, and are not allowed to test their ideas, soon drop out of college. Lack of motivation in the lecture mode of lesson delivery has caused it. Not all students want to learn this way. 

What happens to students who drop out of college because they are not motivated? Robert Persig, in his book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenancegives us an idea of what could possibly happen. The student who drops out of college may possibly become a mechanic, as Mr. Pirsig proposes.             

“In time–six months; five years, perhaps — a change could easily begin to take     place. He would become less and less satisfied with a kind of dumb, day-to-day shop work. His creative intelligence, stifled by too much theory and too many grades in college, would now become reawakened by the boredom of the shop. Thousands of hours of frustrating mechanical problems would have made him more interested in machine design. He would like to design machinery himself. He’d think he could do a better job. He would try modifying a few engines, meet with success, look for more success, but feel blocked because he didn’t have the theoretical information. He would discover that when before he felt stupid because of his lack of interest in theoretical information, he would now find a brand of theoretical information which he’d have a lot of respect for, mainly mechanical engineering.           

So he would come back to our degreeless and gradeless school, but with a difference. He’d no longer be a grade-motivated person. He’d be a knowledge-motivated person. He would   need no external pushing to learn. His push would come from inside. He’d be a free man. He would not need a lot of discipline to shape him up. In fact, if the instructors assigned him were slacking on the job he would be likely to shape them up by asking rude questions. He’d be there to learn something, would be paying to learn something and they better come up with it. 

Motivation of this sort, once it catches hold, is a ferocious force, and in the graceless, degreeless institution where our student would find himself, he wouldn’t stop with rote engineering information. Physics and mathematics were going to come within his sphere of interest because he’d say he needed them. Metallurgy and electrical engineering would come up for attention. And, in the process of intellectual maturing that these abstract studies gave him, he would be likely to branch out into other theoretical areas that weren’t directly related to machines but had become a part of a newer larger goal. This larger goal wouldn’t be the imitation of education in Universities today, glossed over and concealed by grades and degrees that give the appearance of something happening when, in fact, almost nothing is going on. It would be the real thing.”[2]