Both Ways!

Feedback and deeper connections go together

In the gradual shift from controlled motivation (reward and punishment) to autonomous motivation, feedback plays an important role.  Making classroom tasks interesting and enjoyable can only go so far, some tasks must be challenging, and some will be boring.

Creating the conditions in which every task is done willingly and well involves not only good pedagogy and good content design but also an environment where students feel that not doing their best lets someone down.

They can be letting down themselves, their parents or the educator. It is the first and the last over which educators can exercise control, indirectly over the first and directly over how they relate to each student in such a way as to create this effect – the student does their best work because they do not want to let the educator down.


To create this level of connection requires paying very close attention to each student and not reacting using controlled motivation, despite what they say.  Paying such attention is both the way to get authentic feedback and the mechanism through which a closer connection is made.

Students, like everyone else, value being listened to and the opportunity to say what is on their mind without fear of embarrassment or humiliation.

When they know that the educator is providing this then they will want it to continue and will go out of their way not to disappoint or let down the educator, the connection has been made and students will do their best work without the need for controlled motivation.


John Corrigan is an expert in helping individuals to bring their whole of mind to their daily life and increase their effectiveness and the effectiveness of those around them. This expertise scales from the individual to the team to the organisation. At the core of this work is the practice of encounter.Earlier blogs can be found here.

John Corrigan