Educators educating Educators

Jan 19

Old vs. New Pedagogies

Edward Deci, a psychologist at the University of Rochester in New York and the director of its human motivation program. He is well known in psychology for his theories of intrinsic motivation and basic psychological needs and with Richard Ryan, he is the founder of self-determination theory (SDT), an influential contemporary motivational theory.

Instead of posing the question, "How can people motivate others?" Deci asks, "How can people create the conditions within which others will motivate themselves?" This is an important distinction as it shifts the focus away from extrinsic motivation (i.e., motivation based on external rewards and punishments and the possibility of feeling controlled) to intrinsic motivation (i.e., motivation based on what Deci labels "authenticity and responsibility" and a feeling of having choice).


The following chart was created by

Helene M. Hanson

National Professional Resources, Inc.

25 South Regent Street

Prot Chester, NY 10573



Out with the Old Pedagogies, In with the New Pedagogies


Old Pedagogies vs. New Pedagogies




Students Viewed as Winners & Losers

All students can succeed

Intelligence fixed

Accommodations implemented

Curriculum expectations vary

Rigorous curriculum for all

Fixed grouping/tracking

Flexible grouping for all

Self-contained options

Fully inclusive

Academic focus only

Focus on the “whole” child




Learners as Empty Vessels

Active Learners

Teachers lecture

Students engaged

Isolated facts

Connected, relevant learning

Focus on rote learning

Emphasis on comprehension




Teacher as Expert

Teacher as Facilitator

Focus solely on teaching

Teaching & Learning both valued

Minimal collaboration

Co-teaching model

Teacher “direct”

Teacher “coaches”






Uniform Lessons

Lessons which Accommodate

“One size fits all”

Instruction differentiated

Singular teaching style

Multi-modal instruction

Rigid timelines

Varied pacing

Whole class activity

Learning centers




Summative assessments

Formative Assessments

Rely on testing only

Multiple ongoing measures

Data stored

Data utilized

Grading by teacher

Student self-evaluates

Criteria vague

Use of rubrics




Unilateral Decision Making

Collaborative Partnerships

Parent/teacher conference

Parents as full partners

Pull-out support services

Push-in services

Top-down structure

Bottom-up model




“If we can control the attention of the child, we solve the problems of education.” Maria Montessori

This month Ed Tip will examine how to improve students' learning by activating their attention.