In An Interview with Jere Brophy (pdf), this psychologist, researcher and educational leader outlines the paradox of motivation and education:
"What we know about optimal conditions for motivation is difficult to apply in classrooms, for several reasons. First, school attendance is compulsory, and curriculum content and learning activities are selected primarily on the basis of what society believes students need to learn, not on the basis of what students would choose to do if given the opportunity. Schools are established for the benefit of students, but from students’ point of view, time spent in the classroom is devoted to enforced attempts to meet externally imposed demands."And another:
"I believe that the constraints under which most teachers work make it unrealistic to adopt intrinsic motivation as the model of student motivation that one seeks to maintain on an all-day, everyday basis. It is more realistic for teachers to seek to develop and sustain what I call motivation to learn, which I define as a student tendency to find academic activities meaningful and worthwhile and to seek to get the intended learning benefits from them, whether or not they find the content interesting or the processes enjoyable."