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[Xmca-l] Re: Intrinsic motivation?

I love the example you offer of kids engaging in all sorts of shenanigans.
This gives a concreteness to the ideas being discussed here.
I wonder we might be able to merge that concreteness with the abstractness
that is happening elsewhere on this thread?
Can someone render an example like Michael's in Leontiev-ian terms?
That would help me get a better handle on what these abstract notions of
"activity" and object-motives are as well as how to deploy non-dualistic
language to describe what is happening in some actual instance of
Any concrete examples would be appreciated. I suspect that both Maria and
Andrew probably have some very good concrete examples from each of their
researches. I'm very curious to hear more...?


On Mon, Aug 4, 2014 at 9:11 PM, Glassman, Michael <glassman.13@osu.edu>

> 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

Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602