The Psychology of Self Motivation

My PIDP 3250 classmate Dan made a great post about the psychology of self motivation. He referenced the following video which mentions four pillars for self motivation and three questions to determine if we are feeling empowered.

I see the four pillars connecting with my learners in the following ways:

  • Competency: Are my lessons designed so that my learners can gain the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to achieve the lesson objectives? That’s a hard one to achieve but I hope so.
  • Consequences: Do the lesson objectives align with real-world objectives? In my classes it is always a priority.
  • Choice: Do the students have to complete problems using the method I prescribed? Or are there alternative routes? I always show students multiple methods for arriving at the same solution.
  • Community: Do my students collaborate with each other? In class they have several group activities I assign. Outside of class the relationships that are formed in-class often flourish outside of class too.

I’ve never thought of analyzing my own empowerment. The three questions mentioned in the video are

  1. Can you do it?
  2. Will it work?
  3. Is it worth it?

I think those three questions would be great to ask a student who is struggling to solve a problem. The third question is interesting. Suppose you have the skills to solve a problem and you come up with a strategy to solve it. Although the strategy may be plausible, it may be very impractical. I remember when I was studying computational mathematics there were straightforward methods of solving problems which took our computers days to solve. Alternatively there were more “intelligent” methods for solving problems that took our computers minutes to solve.


About simoncrothers

I am an Australian who moved to British Columbia, Canada with my family in 1998. After completing my undergraduate degree in mathematics and computing science at Simon Fraser University, I moved back to Australia for several years. During this time I completed a Masters in Computational Mathematics and began my teaching career in mathematics at the University of New South Wales. In 2010, I moved back to Canada and taught computer science at Douglas College for three years. I am currently regular faculty in the Computer Business Systems department at KPU. I have also taught some courses in the Business and Quantitative Methods department at KPU. In my spare time I like to spend time with my wife Jami, who I met in Australia, our three year old daughter Lillian, and our newly born son Aiden. I also like to indulge in the occasional video game and I am involved in various self-employed web development projects.
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