The Right Pedagogies Support Intrinsic Motivation and Ownership

Pedagogies & Instructional Approaches

student outcomes blue key

In order to achieve both academic rigor and intrinsic motivation, we propose the use of student-centered pedagogies and instructional approaches that retain an emphasis on academic performance combined with data-informed improvement processes.

Authentic, or student-centered approaches support the development of intrinsic motivation and consequently ownership. There are certain things they have in common:

  • They afford students increasing autonomy
  • They enable the student to increase their mastery on a deep level rather than a superficial memorization of facts and processes
  • They support students’ sense of purpose and, when done well, offer connectedness to peers and adults


There are many student-centered approaches to consider. Below are descriptions of several, including short, informal video hangouts with experts describing what each approach is, how it supports intrinsic motivation, and what it looks like in the classroom.