The personal learning space: Plant the seeds

    “Be yourself, everyone else is already taken”  Oscar Wide                                                                                                                     

snow flake

Our mindset is uniquely crafted from long-life experiences which acquire learning via self-taught practices (Smith, 1996) and influenced by extrinsic or intrinsic motivation. Pew (2007) characterised these as; “behavior, cognition, humanistic and biological” (p.14).

For me, a successful report meant a monetary gift, my positive consequence generated extrinsic rewards and coherent with Skinners learning theory, however, motivation declined when the reward was removed.

intrinsic motivation
Figure 1

My pedagogical practice is based on learning through interest, as it predominately entices self-directed and intrinsic motivation (Knowles,1984) and promotes pleasurable experiences (Smith, 1996). Self-direction embeds responsibility to plan, implement and reflect (Smith, 1996). When deployed, the mind validates the effort and ability for successful outcomes. Often, students who share the same interest join in ( refer to CoP or G, C & C learning). Recently, some of my students learned to sew, this was a self-directed and self-efficient experience, it reinforced positive thinking (Bandura, 1993) and promoted resilience to overcome hurdles (Cherry, 2017) as they arose.

Piaget’s theory and Maslow humanistic theory prove intrinsic motivation gives a sense of achievement and belonging.  It enables learners to deploy tactics and diligence for handling information (Pew, 2007 & Smith, 1996). Whenever possible, I encourage and provoke students to think of an alternative. I find it enables students to control and evaluate their learning.  Pappas, provides an effective reflection tool and figure 1, demonstrates contributing factors towards promoting intrinsic motivation.

Figure 1 video: self-direction learning

Extra Resource:

Howard Gardners Multiple intelligence self-assessments. A fun activity for older students to participate in establishing how you think


  Reference (1998-2018) Psychology students’ best friend. Retrieved from

Cherry, K. (2017). Self-Efficacy: Why Believing in Yourself Matters. Retrieved from

David, L. (2015). “Classical and Operant Conditioning (Skinner),” in Learning Theories. Retrieved from:

Image of intrinsic motivational funnel created by myself, Grace Condello

Image of snowflakes. retrieved from 

McLeod, S. 2018. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Simply psychology. Retrieved from

Pappas, P. (2010). The Reflective Student: A Taxonomy of Reflection (Part 2). Retrieved from

Pew, S. (2007). Andragogy and Pedagogy as a Foundational Theory for Student Motivation in Higher Education. Student Motivation, 2, 17-18.

Smith, M. (1996). Self-direction in learning. Retrieved from;

SBS segment (2015) Candlebark and Fitzroy Community School Candlebark and Fitzroy Community School focus on personal development. Retrieved from:


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Life is a gift 💝 and each day presents possibilities 🎁

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