More than 50 years of intrinsic motivation research shows that intrinsically motivated people seek more challenging work and perform better. They also demonstrate more creativity and persistence, and experience higher levels satisfaction, joy, and meaning. In school settings, intrinsic motivation is associated with improved academic performance and happier students at all grade levels. Yet, intrinsic motivation declines from when children enter kindergarten until high school graduation. A lot of what we know about how to succeed in school and life is left out of how we educate our child.
ILM Method is informed by Self-Determination Theory (SDT)
Self-Determination Theory is probably the most authoritative theory of intrinsic motivation. It spans back more than 40 years and has been researched in academic and work settings countless times. One of the most authoritative books on the subject is "Self-Determination Theory: Basic Psychological Needs in Motivation, Development and Wellness" by Edward Deci and Richard Ryan. A recent research study using SDT suggests intrinsic motivation can impact a person’s dopamine levels, which is a neuron implicated in emotional well-being.
SDT states that humans have three basic needs:
- Autonomy - how much control a person feels over their choices
- Relatedness - how related a person feels to other people
- Competence - how competent a person feels about their abilities, skills, learning ability, etc.
When these three needs are being met, a person is much more likely to perform well in school, enjoy their job, put maximum effort into their endeavors, etc. Satisfying these three needs are crucial to high performance and emotional stability.
ILM Method is informed by SDT. Here is a summary of how ILM Method tutoring cultivates SDT’s three basic needs.
ILM Method is not just about teaching, not just educative. It involves an adult who for a period of time gives control over choice to a child. This is psychological, not academic. It gives the child the freedom to explore at will (1) by putting the child’s motivations in the driver seat. It gives the child immediate autonomy all at once.
Because the child’s state of autonomy is being shared with an adult, it informs the relationship between child and adult. By exposing the child to an adult who actively and enthusiastically
(2) promotes the child’s control of choice, the child develops strong, positive emotions for the
adult. This relationship reinforces the child’s values toward whatever their learning
motivations happen to be.
Because ILM Method tutoring is carried out consistently over long spans of time, the child is given sustained control over choice. The educative consequence (3) is that the child expands their skills, knowledge, and abilities. The psychological consequence is that the child develops a strong sense of competence by realizing their knowledge growth is a result of their motivation to learn.
(1) that’s why the child may be all over the place when ILM Method tutoring begins. They may not know what to do with freedom because they haven’t had the chance to let it direct their actions or to let their motivation direct their actions.
(2) enthusiasm is an ILM Method skill. It convinces the child that the handing over of autonomy is legitimate rather than a ploy by the adult ot control them.
(3) ILM Method comprises a blend of teaching skills that encourage educative benefits as well as psychological benefits.