Book Review: “Drive” by Daniel Pink

Recently, I finished Daniel Pink’s (@DanielPink) book Drive (http://www.danpink.com/books/drive/).

Daniel Pink's bestselling book "Drive"
Daniel Pink’s bestselling book “Drive”

This book is an excellent collection of motivation strategies meant to be used in the corporate setting, classroom, or places where people need a little extra “drive!”  It was easy to read and offered practical advice that I found applicable for the classroom.

One part that particularly intrigued me was Pink’s strong beliefs in fostering intrinsic motivation in order to motivate others.  As a high school teacher, this is always a difficult task.  Our students are so often driven by numeric achievement, for example: test grades on classroom or standardized tests, line-items on their college resumes, or how many “likes” they get on their social media posts.  “Knowledge for the sake of knowledge” is a hard concept to portray, particularly in math class.  Students don’t easily understand that logical reasoning is inherently fostered when working with mathematical concepts, and that same logical reasoning will be what helps them reach success in all areas of their lives.

Pink advises that teachers should “help kids see the big picture” (page 179).  I agree, and implement this strategy often with my students.  Discussing the various correlations in any subject can help students make cross-unit and cross-discipline connections.  Vehicles to achieve this can include: deliberating the big picture as a class, grouping students in pairs or small groups for peer-to-peer discussion, assigning students to group or classify their own class notes, and creating concept maps or flowcharts.  These visual, auditory and kinesthetic strategies reach all types of learners while achieving a common goal: to help students see the big picture in order to aid in fostering intrinsic motivation.

I highly recommend this book to any teacher or non-teacher who is interested in learning more about how others are motivated.

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