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Seeking Stability in Stormy Educational Times: A Need-based Perspective on (De)motivating Teaching Grounded in Self-determination Theory

Motivation in Education at a Time of Global Change

ISBN: 978-1-78754-614-1, eISBN: 978-1-78754-613-4

ISSN: 0749-7423

Publication date: 25 March 2019

Abstract

Given the complexity of societal, technological, and economic challenges encountered by schools and teachers, one may wonder whether and how teachers can still optimally motivate their students. To adopt a motivating role in today’s ever-changing, even stormy, educational landscape, teachers need more than a checklist of motivating practices. They also need a fundamental theoretical perspective that can serve as a general source of inspiration for their everyday classroom practices across various situations and in interaction with different students. Herein, we argue that self-determination theory represents such a valuable perspective. In Part I, we discuss the satisfaction of learners’ psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness as a source of student motivation, engagement, and resilience. We also present a recently developed circular model involving a broad variety of motivating (i.e., need-supportive) and demotivating (i.e., need-thwarting) teaching practices appealing to these three needs. In Part II, we discuss several implications of this circular model, thereby discussing the diverse pathways that lead to student need satisfaction, motivation, and engagement as well as highlighting teachers’ capacity for calibration to deal with uncertainty and change. We conclude that school principals and teachers do well to invest in both students’ and teachers’ psychological need experiences, such that they become skilled in flexibly adjusting themselves to diversity, uncertainty, and change.

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Acknowledgements

Acknowledgment

We would like to thank Johnmarshall Reeve for providing useful suggestions which helped in improving the quality of this chapter.

Citation

Vansteenkiste, M., Aelterman, N., Haerens, L. and Soenens, B. (2019), "Seeking Stability in Stormy Educational Times: A Need-based Perspective on (De)motivating Teaching Grounded in Self-determination Theory", Motivation in Education at a Time of Global Change (Advances in Motivation and Achievement, Vol. 20), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 53-80. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0749-742320190000020004

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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