Implications for Education
Education can be said to be the foundation of our society, as it molds children and adolescents for life after school, and provides them with the necessary skills and tools to survive in that life. Knowing more about the psychology influencing how students learn could improve our education system by giving us the tools to change curricula and policies to facilitate better and faster learning. It might help us to understand both under- and over-achievers so that we may better serve their specific needs, in addition to an overall better understanding of learning. As an important part of our society as a whole, education deserves much more scrutiny than we afford it, particularly in the realm of educational psychology.
Currently our educational model measures academic performance via assigned work and tests designed to demonstrate subject mastery. It is, however, an indirect measure of subject mastery because simply testing a few choice facts or skills does not necessarily give one a comprehensive view of the individual's true understanding of the concept. Studies suggest that performance demonstration oriented learning environments stifle intrinsic academic motivation (the inner desire to learn),and promotes extrinsic academic motivation, which is the opposite -- seeing education as merely a means to an end (Deci, 1985).For example, to a student who is extrinsically motivated, getting a good grade on the