When Jacqui Young studied pre-calculus as a high school junior, she found the experience unexpectedly fulfilling. She didn’t consider herself a “math person,” but pre-calc came more easily to her than it did to most of her peers, and she spent a lot of time helping fellow students grasp the concepts. “It felt good to be able to understand something and then be able to walk someone else through it,” she said. “It was so gratifying, and made me want to stay on top of the subject.”
As Dan Pink points out in his book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, mastery and purpose are two of the three elements that propel motivation. The third, autonomy, goes along with the student centered classroom.