Giving Compass' Take:

· Tara García Mathewson explains what it takes to unlock students' internal drive for learning and how intrinsic motivators can be key to student achievement.

· What factors influence a student's desire to learn? How can a passion for learning be developed? How can schools provide the motivation students need to learn?

· Here's how one school is getting students passionate about learning

When Destiny Reyes started elementary school, she felt highly motivated. Like most young children, she liked learning new things, and she excelled at school. She got good grades and reveled in her success, thriving in an environment that, at least implicitly, set her up in competition with her peers. She was at the top of her class, and she proved herself further by testing into a competitive, private middle school. But there, among Providence’s brightest, it wasn’t as easy to be at the top of the class, and her excitement about school – and learning – subsided. Eventually, she says, nothing motivated her. She went to school because she had to.

Destiny, 18, is like most students in the United States. Surveys reveal a steady decline in student engagement throughout middle and high school, a trend that Gallup deemed the “school engagement cliff.” The latest data from the company’s Student Poll found that 74 percent of fifth graders felt engaged, while the same was true of just 32 percent of high school juniors.

One of the key components of engagement is students’ excitement about what they learn. Yet most schools extinguish that excitement.

Read the full article about unlocking students' internal drive for learning by Tara García Mathewson at The Hechinger Report.