Student Motivation

Learner Motivation: Teaching From Within

Course Description

The challenge of motivating learners to learn has been central to the teaching profession throughout history. Unfortunately, many motivational strategies have had the opposite of their intended effect on learners. This course is built around concepts explored in Bob Sullo’s book, The Motivated Learner and the 2012 TIE Media film, Teaching From Within. Teaching From Within is a film and a way of teaching that promote an inside-out (intrinsic) approach to learning. Once we strip away intrusive motivational add-ons like rewards, fear and coercion, the natural human drive to learn, explore and grow can guide us as teachers and as Learners toward learning that is natural, sustainable, and never ending. Participants will analyze their own and their school’s approaches to motivating learners, view the film itself, explore research around learner motivation, and develop goals and approaches for beginning the shift from problematic external motivational approaches to teaching and learning that comes from within.


Learner Motivation: Teaching From Within is immediately available through our Self-Paced Online Courses.

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Discover and explore their own current default style when it comes to motivating learners
  • Develop a sense of current societal and learner attitudes concerning motivation
  • Compare learning philosophies of schools they attended, the school in which they teach and the school they would choose for their own children or grandchildren to attend
  • Gain insight into learner perspectives through guided visualization of their own “best” and “worst” experiences as learners
  • Explore motivational approaches that utilize Rewards, Fear and Coercion and their implications for learners and learning
  • Consider recent research into motivation and learning
  • Process ancient and contemporary philosophies that place self-determination at the center of learning and self-actualization ahead of utilitarian outcomes
  • Reflect on results and learnings from the surveys and activities in the course
  • Set goals for changes within their own classrooms and identify tensions that may result from the change process
  • Explore and analyze their own practices in relation to motivational practices involving External Rewards, Fear and Coercion
  • Identify specific and appropriate steps to begin eliminating External Rewards and Fear and minimizing Coercion in their classrooms

At a Glance

Enrollment Information

Technology & Innovation in Education

For more information, to schedule a date or customize your program, contact Julie Mathiesen at 605-394-1876 or by filling out form below.