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[Xmca-l] Re: Intrinsic motivation?



Hi Greg,

While I'm approaching the concept of activity more from a Pragmatic perspective than an Activity theory perspective (although I'm not sure how much difference there is really) - activity is all we really have in the end.  There is an I or we that is separate from the activity, and there is an object, a goal that is separate from the activity, but these are things we can't know and we should stop trying.  All that we know is the activity itself.  I mean if somebody is not interested in doing something there's nothing to observe.  We can make up stories about it - about the object, about the individual - but the only thing we can observe is somebody engaging in something they are interested in it.  And everybody is engaged in something.  They may not be engaged in what you want them to be engaged in, but if they are doing something it is either habit or they are engaged.  I remember when I was teaching English in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn, they were interested in what I was peddling but that doesn't mean they were engaged.  They were engaged in flirtations and comedy and showing their feathers and lunchroom politics and oneupmanship, and most of all making my life miserable - they were extraordinarily interested in these things and more.  They just weren't engaged in the object the Board of Education told them to be engaged in so it didn't really exist in the classroom.

Michael
________________________________________
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] on behalf of Greg Thompson [greg.a.thompson@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, August 04, 2014 10:21 PM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Intrinsic motivation?

Michael,
I like your reverse engineering idea.
And I like the idea of "intrinsic to the activity" too.
But, I assume, it is only "intrinsic to the activity" with respect to an
engaged (or not) subject? i.e. there must still be a "we" that is
interested (and different "we's" can have different levels of interest in
the same activity). I think this is implied in what you say but I'm not
sure (esp. if "intrinsic" is put back (solely) in the activity).
I guess I'm a little anxious here that the individual side of the
individual/context unity is swallowed up by the activity.
I should add that I've never been very good on the "activity" part of
activity theory so maybe "activity" already includes subjectivities?
Any help here would be greatly appreciated.
-greg


On Mon, Aug 4, 2014 at 8:03 PM, Glassman, Michael <glassman.13@osu.edu>
wrote:

> Hi Phillip,
>
> So can we reverse engineer the idea of motivation (I actually don't know
> what that means but I like the way it sounds and I'm hoping it impresses
> people).  But can we take the word motivation and replace it with interest?
>  And can we take the concept of intrinsic out of the individual and put it
> in the activity itself?  So we do an activity for one of two reasons - we
> do it because we are interested in the activity itself, or we do the
> activity because we are interested in the external rewards we might get
> from doing the activity.  One form of interest is not necessarily superior
> to the other in getting individuals to accomplish a task - but, as they
> say, sooner or later the candy man is going to get up and leave, and then
> why would you keep doing the task it there is not outside reward?  It
> really does double back to the mathematics discussion.  Do we do the math
> work because we just have to know how it turns out or do we do the math
> work because we like the rewards we get for doing a good job.  The former
> and we're always playing with math, the latter and we go into the financial
> sector.
>
> Michael
> ________________________________________
> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu]
> on behalf of White, Phillip [Phillip.White@ucdenver.edu]
> Sent: Monday, August 04, 2014 9:18 PM
> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Intrinsic motivation?
>
> i enjoyed reading your posting, Andrew, and would like to add to it
> (realizing that this may not be a path you wish to venture on)  -  in my
> own experience as an elementary school teacher, as well as a university
> teacher, i have lost any faith in the notion of "motivation", intrinsic or
> extrinsic.  regardless of the age of the student, when i notice a student
> not participating, i consider the lack of participation as a lack of
> engagement.  that way, i don't have to see myself as having to "motivate" a
> student, but rather to provide multiple alternative activities which may
> interest a student's engagement.
>
> Bateson, as far as i know, never addresses the notion of motivation.
>
> Marie Clay, who worked with students who failed to engage in reading,
> worked out a wealth of activities in which the student could both engage
> and internalize self-monitoring behaviors that strengthened the multiple
> activities of fluent readers.
>
> Holland, et al, in Identity and Agency in Cultural Worlds gives little
> credence to motivation, seeing motivation as "formed" through social
> interactions.
>
> Michael Cole in Cultural Psychology: A once and future discipline, doesn't
> even directly address motivation.
>
> for me as a teacher, the conceptual framework of motivation is too
> enveloped in Skinnerian behaviorism, and is an epistemological failure as a
> explanatory principle of human behavior.
>
> my two bits.
>
> phillip
>
>
> Phillip White, PhD
> Urban Community Teacher Education Program
> Site Coordinator
> Montview Elementary, Aurora, CO
> phillip.white@ucdenver.edu
> or
> pawhite@aps.k12.co.us
> ________________________________________
> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu [xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu]
> On Behalf Of Andrew Coppens [acoppens@ucsc.edu]
> Sent: Monday, August 04, 2014 3:46 PM
> To: xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Intrinsic motivation?
>
> Hi everyone -
> Thanks in advance for bearing with a long post from a usual listener here.
>
> I'm also working on an alternative to the deeply entrenched
> intrinsic/extrinsic dichotomy. I'm trying to explain a pervasive cultural
> pattern among Indigenous American children: the motivation to contribute
> autonomously (i.e., under their own initiative) and with responsibility to
> productive family and community endeavors, as integrated participants and
> meaningful collaborators in cultural activities. What are the motivational
> affordances of children having opportunities to "take part" in mature
> endeavors? What is the draw of "bigger than me" activities?
>
> First, I've found it instructive to consider parallels in historical timing
> between the emergence of a motivational science and the segregation of
> children from productive work in the middle-class West, both around the
> turn of the 20th century. Kurt Danziger has written on this in *Naming the
> Mind. *I believe this cultural pattern (the segregation of children and
> workers from productive activities and their motives) has become somewhat
> of an unquestioned epistemological principle in canonical motivational
> theory, and certainly in the intrinsic/extrinsic dichotomy.
>
> >From a CHAT perspective, would the idea of an "extrinsic reward" even hold
> water? Mainstream motivational research gives enough evidence to defend the
> idea that when "extrinsic rewards" undermine intrinsic motivation, what
> might be happening is a transformation of the student's/child's activity
> and the material reward is the pivot. That new activity (e.g., getting a
> grade) is not nearly as compelling as mastering material to do something
> productive and interesting. But "getting a grade" is inherent/intrinsic,
> not extrinsic, to the activity of IPBSchooling. This motivational
> transformation can happen in the reverse direction too (see WM Roth and RM
> Larson), through a move from periphery to center a la Lave & Wenger.
>
> So, not "extrinsic" but also not "intrinsic" in the conventional sense.
> When self-in-activity is the unit of analysis for questions about
> motivation, the intrinsic-as-internal metaphor seems very inadequate.
> "Intrinsic" comes to encompass the entire activity, and the self in
> relation to it. This dialogic relation between self and object-motive is, I
> think, what's intended by mutual constitution of the subject/object-motive
> in Leont'ev and others' formulations. This is where I've started to make
> headway in thinking about motivation when a child contributes
> collaboratively and with initiative toward a shared motive.
>
> There is definitely work on this topic. Ruth Paradise (2005) has a very
> nice paper in Spanish also using the term "inherent" motivation, and
> Barbara Rogoff has alluded to this idea in several places in the mid-1990s.
> Dan Hickey and others have written wonderfully about sociocultural
> perspectives on achievement motivation theory, in ways that would coincide
> with thoughts on this thread so far. Dorothy Lee (1961) calls this
> "autonomous motivation". There are many others, including key insights from
> Carol Dweck and Mark Lepper.
>
> Thanks for listening and hopefully correcting,
> Andrew
>
> ---
> Andrew D. Coppens
> www.andrewcoppens.com
>
>
>
>


--
Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
http://byu.academia.edu/GregoryThompson