We use several related constructs in talking about motivation.
We use the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. This theory suggests that situations over which we perceive that we have a greater amount of control are more motivating to us than situations in which an external agent has control. Autonomy, therefore, has a powerful influence on motivation.
Achievement motivation posits that we are all motivated to learn and become competent, and that is a fundamental human motivator, not something we pursue as time and circumstance permit. Achievement motivation suggests that the drive to learn is a prerequisite to other drives, as we would not survive without an impulse to acquire mastery over our environment.
The type of feedback we receive influences our motivation. A particularly useful distinction is that between task-involved and ego-involved feedback. Feedback focused on improving performance (task-involved) is more likely to increase performance. Feedback that compares a performance to the performance of others (ego-involved) is more likely to induce a defensive reaction and to thereby detract from performance. Once ego-involved feedback is introduced (e.g. a grade or other performance rating), the efficacy of task-involved feedback is greatly compromised.
The role of the coach is to support the educational leader’s goal-setting at different scales and in different ways. Examples might include:
- Goals for the school improvement plan
- Goals for a particular program, intervention, or new instructional practice
- Goals for the creation of a leadership team or data team
- Goals for the first 90 days of a principal’s tenure(also called entry planning)
- Goals for a particular meeting or difficult conversation