Not Your Job to Motivate

Tom Foster (Management Skills Blog) states that it's not a manager's job to motivate. Rather the job is to 

to create the environment where all the motivation hype is not necessary.

That makes a lot of sense. That is, external motivation, such as rewards can temporarily encourage engagement. However, once those rewards are removed, then that engagement disappears (see Rewards for Students under a Microscope). In contrast, intrinsic motivation can continue over time without external stimuli. If we're interested in students being engaged in life-long learning, then we need to consider how to create conditions that nurture intrinsic motivation. Two theories to consider in setting up those conditions are Deci and Ryan's Self-Determination Theory and Csizkszentmihalyi's Flow.