It is still all about relationships

When students do work to their best ability because they do not want to let themselves, or others, down, they are autonomously motivated.  They are internally driven to be their best selves through developing their competence under their own volition.

This is the ideal for learning to take place.

For this to happen there must be a strong connection with someone the student does not want to let down.  Even the case of the student not wanting to let themselves down is only achievable because, somewhere in their network of relationships, there is someone who values them highly enough for them to have generated a strong sense of self-belief, a strong connection with themselves.

A minority of children do not have anyone in their web of family relationships that provides this deep connection and therefore they lack the self-motivation to do work to the best of their abilities, particularly when the work is challenging or boring.


The only person who can then create such a connection is the educator.  This is the reason why teaching has become a profession.  Students need to develop a deep connection with at least one adult who unconditionally cares for them.  Remember conditional care is an aspect of controlled motivation, it is a reward for the student doing as they are told.

What is emerging at the core of the teaching profession is this capacity to care unconditionally for a student so that they develop the self-motivation to become their best selves.

There is no better profession than that!



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