Many countries that are concerned about their standing on international achievement tests have been pressuring schools to improve, often leading teachers and students to be more controlled in their motivation. Using self-determination theory, we argue that supporting teacher and student autonomy has substantial advantages in terms of educational outcomes relative to controlling strategies, and we review research supporting that position. Research has also shown that autonomous motivation tends to flourish in situations where people experience satisfaction of their three basic psychological needs—the needs for competence, relatedness, and autonomy. We also review research on goals—both mastery and performance goals and intrinsic and extrinsic goals—examining them in relation to autonomous and controlled motives. As well, we discuss ways in which teachers can support satisfaction of their students’ basic psychological needs, especially when teachers themselves are similarly supported. Finally, we suggest that educational outcomes are often too narrowly focused on performance in specific areas, whereas we see higher-quality learning and development occurring most optimally in contexts of need support.
- Intrinsic Motivation
- Educational Outcome
- Performance Goal
- Autonomy Support
- Extrinsic Motivation
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Deci, E.L., Ryan, R.M. (2016). Optimizing Students’ Motivation in the Era of Testing and Pressure: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective. In: Liu, W., Wang, J., Ryan, R. (eds) Building Autonomous Learners. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-630-0_2
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