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The value of motivational theory in education


Konferensbidrag (Refereegranskat)


Motivation is the driving force behind all behaviors, from posting cat pictures on Facebook to finishing an exam on time - and motivation determines how much, how often and how passionately we do it. Besides providing expertise and knowledge, teachers can create good opportunities for commitment, learning and development among their learners – or the opposite – by influencing the motivational climate.  Self-determination theory (SDT) describes how teachers’ communication style can affect motivation, which in turn affects learning, achievement, development and commitment among learners. SDT also provides reliable methods based on the significance of basic psychological needs considered essential for motivation and self-regulation in all humans; autonomy, competence and relatedness. The need for autonomy involves volition and self-determination, the need for competence is about feeling effective and capable, and the need for relatedness is about feeling affiliated to other people. Social contexts that satisfy these needs nourish personal involvement, sustainable motivation and wellbeing. When the needs contrarily are thwarted, e.g. by using punishments, force or guilt, learners will feel controlled, incapable and excluded, which is related to cheating, nonattendance and boredom. To inspire interest and dedication teachers could therefore benefit from applying SDT in the classroom to stimulate a favorable motivational environment where learners have the opportunity to grow and thrive, not only within the specific subject, but also as a person. Such a social climate will also loop back and influence the teacher’s own experience, basic need satisfaction and motivation; constituting the dependence and interdependence of classroom dynamics. 

Citera: Weman Josefsson, Karin, The value of motivational theory in education, The IAFOR Conference series 2019 : Independence & Interdependence, Programme & Abstract Book., s. 58-58, 2019