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Motivation as a general term can be extrinsic or intrinsic. Extrinsic is when children work due to pressure and/or rewards. They work because they have to or because there is an external motivation. The opposite, being intrinsic motivation is an internal, long lasting phenomena. A person is intrinsically motivated when he/she wants to do something. When there is an inner urge to do something, without promised rewards. An intrinsically motivated student likes to work at school, contribute to lessons and discussions and collaborates with others. At the Montessori school and in the IB sections, we work on the development of intrinsic motivation. This reaches much further than extrinsic motivation, since the latter is very short lived and the child does not feel responsible for the outcome. Intrinsic motivation goes hand in hand with responsibility for self and others. It leads to life long learning and success in one’s career.

Due to the educational approach, Montessori graduates are much more likely to show high levels of intrinsic motivation.

How does this come about?

  • Cycles of uninterrupted concentration
  • Opportunities given to preferred learning styles
  • Choice, therefore the work is theirs
  • Opportunities to expand on their knowledge
  • Decision making opportunities
  • Logical limits that enhance the development of responsibility
  • Empowerment which is followed by pleasure in what they do


Intrinsic motivation builds the personality. It is a “characteristic” for life.

An intrinsically motivated person will do well in anything they set their mind too.