The Theory of Extrinsic Motivation Paper Example

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1456 Words
Date:  2022-06-22


The environment of this Eighth-grade classroom contains thirty-three students. This is a part time Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) classroom setting. During Science, the students have One general education teacher and a one to one health paraprofessional with them in the room. The students have assigned seating in the classroom that was given to them at the start of the school year. Students know when they enter the classroom to be seated before the bell rings and immediately start to copy and work on the focus question and the do now part questions.

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Description of Child's Activity/Action Comments

The science teacher began a new topic on the male and female reproduction system. The teacher begins to go over important vocabulary and key terms in order to help the students have a better understanding of this topic. Joey was unfocussed and staring off into space during the lesson.

While the teacher is going over the lesson, Joey was playing with his clicking pen. His paraprofessional refocused him multiple times but he was fixated with his pen rather than the lesson.

She asked for his pen and it took a few times for him to stop.

After the teacher was done going over the vocabulary and key terms, he handed out a worksheet for the student to complete by filling in the terms with the correct statements and definitions.

The students were allowed to work in groups at their table which seemed to excite Joey.

Joey was asking his group members a lot of questions because he wasn't paying attention during the lesson.

Joey was focused on finding the correct answers, and to be trying to complete the worksheet.

When he moved on to terms he was unable to find, he became discouraged and began asking other group members for answers. -For the most part, all the students were engaged in lesson except for Joey. Based on student involvement, the worksheet seemed to be fun and interesting.

-It was obvious that Joey was not paying attention being that he could not complete the lesson, and he had to ask his group members to explain things to him as well as asking them for answers he couldn't get.

-He did not want anything to do with his paraprofessional. When she would redirect him, he would roll his eyes. When she asked for his pen so he would be less distracted he put up a fight.

-When his group members began to help Joey, and explained what needed to be done, it looked like he was understanding and became engaged in the lesson.

Once he completed the worksheet, and got the answers from his classmates, he returned to his disruptive behavior.

Joey started to call out, and even began to sing. He got angry when he was told to stop and was continuously stating that he finished his work.

His paraprofessional told the other students not to give Joey the answers because he was disrupting the lesson and distracting to the other students.

Joey seemed bored and wanted to have his work done for him.

While the other students in the group were working well together and were trying to involve him in the lesson, Joey began calling out that the lesson was "boring" and "not interesting".

It was noticeable that he was getting annoyed with his paraprofessional because he did not want her help. However, when it was almost time to go over the lesson, one girl in his group was determined to help him. She moved her seat to sit right next to him. Although it was working for about 3 minutes, once he "understood" what was going on he dismissed the young girl. Once the girl left he began to act out and not complete the paper. At this point, the teacher began to go over the worksheet. Joey was raising his hand to answer the questions and got annoyed when he was not picked. When he was picked, he would ask an irrelevant question, or give random statements unrelated to the topic. The teacher told him that he was unhappy with Joey's behavior, and deducted from his conduct grade.

Joey continuously asked to use the bathroom, but was not granted permission because he had used the bathroom the period before. It was obvious that the teacher was trying to avoid picking Joey to answer the questions because he knew he was going to ask inappropriate questions for attention.

Joey basically wasted 45 minutes of class time, was unfocused on the lesson.

Joey tried to distract his classmates as well, being that he was unfocused.


Being a part time Integrated Co-teaching (ICT) student is clearly a challenge for Joey. In all of his ICT classes, the special education teacher breaks down the lesson for Joey in a way that he is able to understand. When he is in science without his ICT teacher, Joey finds any which way to not pay attention to the lesson, and is often distracted. Joey also tries to distract his classmates so that he can get their attention. This makes me believe that Joey may need to be with an ICT teacher at all times to help break down lessons for him in a way that he can understand so that he can be involved and focused (Gormley et al., 2005). When he doesn't understand the lesson, or when he gets bored he loses interest and begins to backlash by fooling around and distracting others.

I observed that Joey had trouble focusing on the lesson and that he claimed it was too "difficult" and "boring". It was clear that if he was more interested and followed along while the teacher was going over the terms, he would have been able to complete the lesson. Today began with the clicking of his pen, which led to him trying to get the other students to do his work for him. Although his paraprofessional made numerous attempts to refocus him, and to keep him on task, it wasn't enough.

Joey seemed to be unaffected and had no remorse when his teacher told him that he was going to take away conduct points on Class DOJO because of his poor behavior. Class DOJO is a point system communication application that teachers and staff use to track student behavior and progress. Parents are able to view information on their child by logging into class DOJO. Joey needs to be more aware that these behaviors are unacceptable during a lesson and that negative actions have negative consequences. I also believe that Joey needs more positive reinforcements as well as extra help during classes where he is without an ICT teacher. It seems that Joey likes to have the extra attention and breakdown from a teacher, but gets discouraged and upset when it is the help of his paraprofessional. Lev Vygotskys was a developmental scientist who studied the development of children and made several theories pertaining to their learning abilities (Gormley et al., 2005).Vygotskybelieved that students benefited from extrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is motivation from outside influences. It is defined as the "Drive to action that (as opposed to intrinsic motivation) springs from outside influences instead of from one's own feelings" (Davis, 2003).

In short, the theory of extrinsic motivation says that if you are to give a child a reward for doing something positive, they will want to repeat that positive action in the hopes of receiving an additional reward. He believed that they would not repeat the action because it is the right thing to do, rather that they would repeat it for their own personal gain. I believe that Joey would benefit from a reward system motivating him to do the right thing. By applying Vygotskys theory and putting a reward system in place Joey may see that doing the right thing will give him the attention he is seeking, and he will also be learning in the interim (Davis, 2003). Another developmental scientist was Jean Piaget. Piaget had a theory that students benefit most from Intrinsic Motivation Intrinsic motivation is defined as "Stimulation that drives an individual to adopt or change a behavior for his or her own internal satisfaction or fulfillment. Intrinsic motivation is usually self-applied, and springs from a direct relationship between the individual and the situation" (Davis, 2003)


Hunter, A. B., Laursen, S. L., & Seymour, E. (2007). Becoming a scientist: The role of undergraduate research in students' cognitive, personal, and professional development. Science education, 91(1), 36-74.

Davis, H. A. (2003). Conceptualizing the role and influence of student-teacher relationships on children's social and cognitive development. Educational psychologist, 38(4), 207-234.

Ianco-Worrall, A. D. (1972). Bilingualism and cognitive development. Child development, 1390-1400.

Gormley Jr, W. T., Gayer, T., Phillips, D., & Dawson, B. (2005). The effects of universal pre-K on cognitive development. Developmental psychology, 41(6), 872.

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