Motivation is a four-letter word.
I have found that one can plan the best lessons, or simply let the kid lead, or crack the whip, or use the laissez-faire approach...and it can potentially yield the same result.
Motivation is crucial to success, not just in academia but also in life. How does one teach motivation? Excellent question.
The best I can figure it is this: model the behavior you want and then apply the following formula:
Patience + Persistence = Success/Time (TM)
Or, you can simply get your student a library card and send them on their way. I have a sneaking suspicion that the people in the article were motivated to begin with, but what would happen if you just let your kids READ? Self-selected with guidance when asked for and perhaps resource gathering when needed but no other intervention.
I think that would be an awesome Ph.D project - get a large enough sample of parents who are willing to just let their kids read for the whole of their education. Obviously, the kids would need to be able to read, so some type of instruction might be necessary to get the ball rolling, but it wouldn't necessarily need to be formal schooling; kids could be homeschooled or schooled traditionally, and that could be part of the study.
Why yes, as a strong proponent of reading and a gut-level instinct that it would work to produce thoughtful, intelligent and highly educated person, I would love to complete this research! Contact me directly if you'd like to A). fund the research, B) admit me into your Ph.D program, or C) volunteer your kid. I'm going to need an awful lot of them.