One of my favorite videos from RSA Animate. Adapted from the book Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink (http://www.amazon.com/Drive-Surprising-Truth-About-Motivates/dp/1594488843). The video is, indeed, theoretical, but it gets at the crux of "what to do about all those kids who don't do their work". I also think the concepts are completely related to where education reform needs to go. Common Core is a definite step in the right direction .
Autonomy, Purpose and Mastery: student's work must include all of these things to truly engage the learner.