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Science Says Self-Direction is Motivating

Traditional notions of management are great if you want compliance. But if you want engagement, self-direction works better.

Daniel Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

We’re exploring this premise in a Grade 12 business course I’m teaching at the moment. Students have been charged with committing to a SMART goal, the only requirements being that:

1) create something that doesn’t already exist (not necessarily tangible)
2) be an undertaking of their own choosing (should be a get-to-do way to spend their time)
3) be a legal activity

Students are required to document their process, and will share their experience with the class upon their return from Christmas holidays. It’ll be interesting to see the extent to which they pursue their goals, and whether self-direction can motivate students towards an excellence of their own choosing.

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