Enthusiastic Students: A Study of Motivation in Two Alternatives to Mandatory Instruction
Keywords:alternative education, democratic education, home school, motivation, self-determination theory
The present study used Self-Determination Theory as a framework for examining age-related changes in motivation for 57 students aged 7-17 years in the context of two alternative educational environments: a home school resource center and a democratically organized school. Students completed the Academic Self-Regulation Questionnaire in order to assess their intrinsic motivation and three types of extrinsic motivation. In stark contrast to the well-replicated negative correlation between age and intrinsic motivation in traditional schools, there was no relationship between age and any of the four motivation subscale scores in the present study. Interpretations and implications of these findings are discussed.
Alternative Education Resource Organization (2012). List of Democratic Schools. Retrieved May 22, 2013, from http://www.educationrevolution.org/blog/list-of-democratic-schools/
Amabile, T. (1996). Creativity in context. Boulder, Co: Westview Press.
Assor, A., Roth, G., & Deci, E. L. (2004). The emotional costs of parents' conditional regard: A self-determination theory analysis. Journal of Personality, 72(1), 47-88.
Apostoleris, N. (2000). Children's love of learning: Home schooling and intrinsic motivation for learning. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Clark University, Worcester, MA.
Baard, P. P., Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2006). Intrinsic need satisfaction: A motivational basis of performance and well-being in two work settings. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 34, 2045â€“2068. DOI: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2004.tb02690.x
Bauman, K. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. (2001). Home schooling in the United States: Trends and characteristics (Working Paper Series No. 53 ). Retrieved May 22, 2013, from: http://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps0053/twps0053.html
Bergin, D. A., Ford, M. E., & Hess, R. D. (1993). Patterns of motivation and social behavior associated with microcomputer use of young children. Journal of Educational Psychology, 85, 437-445.
Berndt, T. J. (1979). Developmental changes in conformity to peers and parents. Developmental Psychology, 15, 608â€“616.
Bielick, S., U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2008). Issue brief: 1.5 million homeschooled students in the United States in 2007 (NCES 2009-030). Jessup, MD: ED Pubs.
Boggiano, A. K. (1998). Maladaptive achievement patterns: A test of a diathesis-stress analysis of helplessness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1681-1695.
Bong, M. (2005). Within-grade changes in Korean girlsâ€™ motivation and perceptions of the learning environment across domains and achievement levels. Journal of Educational Psychology, 97, 656-672. DOI: 10.1037/0022-0622.214.171.1246
Bouffard, T., Marcoux, M., Vezeau, C., & Bordeleau, L. (2003). Changes in self-perceptions of competence and intrinsic motivation among elementary school children. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 73, 171-186.
Brophy, J. (2010). Motivating students to learn. (3rd ed.). New York: Routledge.
Cai, Y., Reeve, J., & Robinson, D. T. (2002). Home schooling and teaching style: Comparing the motivating styles of home school and public school teachers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 94, 372-380. DOI: 10.1037/0022-06126.96.36.1992
Chirkov, V., Ryan, R. M., Kim, Y., & Kaplan, U. (2003). Differentiating autonomy from individualism and independence: A self-determination theory perspective on internalization of cultural orientations and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 97-110. DOI: 10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.52
Corpus, J. H., McClintic-Gilbert, M. S., & Hayenga, A. O. (2009). Within-year changes in children's intrinsic and extrinsic motivational orientations: Contextual predictors and academic outcomes. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 34, 154-166. DOI: 10.1016/j.cedpsych.2009.01.001
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2000). The "what" and "why" of goal pursuits: Human needs and the self-determination of behavior. Psychological Inquiry, 11, 227-268.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2002). Handbook of self-determination research. Rochester, NY: The University of Rochester Press.
Deci, E. L., & Moller, A. C. (2007). The concept of competence: A starting place for understanding intrinsic motivation and self-determined extrinsic motivation. In A. Elliot & C. Dweck (Eds.), Handbook of Competence and Motivation (pp. 579-597). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Deci, E. L., Schwartz, A. J., Sheinman, L., & Ryan, R. M. (1981). An instrument to assess adults' orientations toward control versus autonomy with children: Reflections on intrinsic motivation and perceived competence. Journal of Educational Psychology, 73, 642-650. DOI: 10.1037/0022-06184.108.40.2062
Dewey, J. (1994). Democracy and education: An introduction to the philosophy of education. [ILT Digital Classics version]. Retrieved from http://www.worldcat.org/title/democracy-and-education-an-introduction-to-the-philosophy-of-education/oclc/614260492 (Original work published 1916)
Eccles, J. S., Midgley, C., Wigfield, A., Buchanan, C. M., Reuman, D., Flanagan, C., et al. (1993). Development during adolescence: The impact of stage-environment fit on young adolescentsâ€™ experiences in schools and in families. American Psychologist, 48, 90â€“101.
Gottfried, A. E. (1985). Academic intrinsic motivation in elementary and junior high school students. Journal of Educational Psychology, 77, 631-645.
Gottfried, A. E., Fleming, J. S., & Gottfried, A. W. (1998). Role of cognitively stimulating home environment in children's academic intrinsic motivation: A longitudinal study. Child Development, 69, 1448-1460. Retrieved 22 May, 2013, from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1132277
Gottfried, A. E., Fleming, J. S., & Gottfried, A. W. (2001). Continuity of academic intrinsic motivation from childhood through late adolescence: A longitudinal study. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93, 3-13. DOI: 10.1037/0022-06220.127.116.11
Gray, P., & Chanoff, D. (1986). Democratic schooling: What happens to young people who have charge of their own education? American Journal of Education, 94, 182-213. Retrieved 22 May, 2013, from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1084948
Gray, P., & Feldman, J. (1997). Patterns of age mixing and gender mixing among children and adolescents at an ungraded democratic school. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 43, 67-86.
Gray, P., & Feldman, J. (2004). Playing in the zone of proximal development: Qualities of self-directed age mixing between adolescents and young children at a democratic school. American Journal of Education, 110, 108-145. Retrieved from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/380572
Greenberg, D., & Sadofsky, M. (1992). Legacy of trust: Life after the Sudbury Valley School experience. Framingham, MA: The Sudbury Valley School Press.
Greenberg, D., Sadofsky, M., & Lempka, J. (2005). The pursuit of happiness: The lives of Sudbury Valley alumni. Framingham, MA: The Sudbury Valley School Press.
Haimovitz, K., Wormington, S. V., & Corpus, J. H. (2011). Dangerous mindsets: How beliefs about intelligence predict motivational change. Learning and Individual Differences, 21, 747-752. DOI: 10.1016/j.lindif.2011.09.002
Harter, S. (1981). A new self-report scale of intrinsic versus extrinsic orientation in the classroom: Motivational and informational components. Developmental Psychology, 17, 300-312. DOI: 10.1037/0012-1618.104.22.1680
Harter, S., & Jackson, B. K. (1992). Trait vs. nontrait conceptualizations of intrinsic/extrinsic motivational orientation. Motivation and Emotion, 16, 209-230.
Harter, S., Whitesell, N. R., & Kowalski, P. (1992). Individual differences in the effects of educational transitions on young adolescentâ€™s perceptions of competence and motivational orientation. American Educational Research Journal, 29, 777-807.
Hickey, D.T. (1997). Motivation and contemporary socio-constructivist instructional perspectives. Educational Psychologist, 32(3), 175-193
Holt, J. (1976). Instead of education: Ways to help people do things better. New York, NY: E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc.
Hunter, J. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2003). The positive psychology of interested adolescents. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 32, 27-35. DOI: 10.1023/A:1021028306392
Jang, H., Reeve, J., & Deci, E. L. (2010). Engaging students in learning activities: It is not autonomy support or structure but autonomy support and structure. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102, 588-600. DOI: 10.1037/a0019682
Koestner, R., Ryan, R. M., Bernieri, F., & Holt, K. (1984). Setting limits on children's behavior: The differential effects of controlling vs. informational styles on intrinsic motivation and creativity. Journal of Personality, 52, 233-248. DOI: 10.1111/1467-6494.ep7390802
Kohn, A. (1999). The schools our children deserve: Moving beyond traditional classrooms and "tougher standards". New York, NY: Houghton Mifflin Company.
Leonard, G. B. (1968). Education and ecstasy. New York, NY: Delacorte Press.
Lepper, M. R., Corpus, J. H., & Iyengar, S. S. (2005). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation orientations in the classroom: Age differences and academic correlates. Journal of Educational Psychology, 97, 184-196. DOI: 10.1037/0022-0622.214.171.124
MacIver, D. J., Stipek, D. J., & Daniels, D. H. (1991). Explaining within-semester changes in student effort in junior high school and senior high school courses. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 201-211. DOI: 10.1037/0022-06126.96.36.199
McDowell, S. A. (2000). The home schooling mother-teacher: Toward a theory of social integration. Peabody Journal of Education, 75, 187-206.
Medlin, R. G. (2000). Home schooling and the question of socialization. Peabody Journal of Education, 75, 107-123.
Meece, J. L., Blumenfeld, P. C., & Hoyle, R. H. (1988). Studentsâ€™ goal orientations and cognitive engagement in classroom activities. Journal of Educational Psychology, 80, 514-523.
Moore, R. S., & Moore, D. N. (1982). School can wait. Camas, WA: The Moore Foundation.
Neill, A. S. (1992). Summerhill School: A new view of childhood. Edited by Albert Lamb. New York, NY: St. Martin's Griffin. (Original work published 1960)
Otis, N., Grouzet, F. M. E., & Pelletier, L. G. (2005). Latent motivational change in an academic setting: A 3-year longitudinal study. Journal of Educational Psychology, 97, 170-183. DOI: 10.1037/0022-06188.8.131.52
Paris, S. G., & Turner, J. C. (1994). Situated Motivation. In P. Pintrich, D. Brown, & C.E. Weinstein, (Eds.), Student motivation, cognition, and learning: Essays in honor of Wilbert J. McKeachie (pp. 213-237). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Pintrich, P. R., & Garcia, T. (1991). Student goal orientation and self-regulation in the college classroom. In M. Maehr, & P.R. Pintrich, Advances in motivation and achievement: Goals and self-regulatory processes, vol. 7. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
Pintrich, P. R. (2003). A motivational science perspective on the role of student motivation in learning and teaching contexts. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95, 667-686. DOI: 10.1037/0022-06184.108.40.2067
Prawat, R. S., Grissom, S., & Parish, T. (1979). Affective development in children, grades 3 through 12. The Journal of Genetic Psychology, 135, 37-49.
Ray, B. D. (2000). Home schooling: The ameliorator of negative influences on learning? Peabody Journal of Education, 75, 71-106. Retrieved 22 May, 2013, from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1493090
Ray, B. D. (2011). Research facts on homeschooling. Retrieved 22 May, 2013 from: http://www.nheri.org/Research-Facts-on-Homeschooling.html
Reeve, J. (2009). Why teachers adopt a controlling motivating style toward students and how they can become more autonomy supportive. Educational Psychologist, 44, 159-175. DOI: 10.1080/00461520903028990
Reeve, J., Bolt, E., & Cai, Y. (1999). Autonomy-supportive teachers: How they teach and motivate students. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91, 537-548. DOI: 10.1037/0022-06220.127.116.117
Reeve, J., & Jang, H. (2006). What teachers say and do to support students' autonomy during a learning activity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 98, 209-218. DOI: 10.1037/0022-0618.104.22.168
Reeve, J., Jang, H., Carrell, D., Jeon, S., & Barch, J. (2004). Enhancing students' engagement by increasing teachers' autonomy support. Motivation & Emotion, 28, 147-169.
Reeve, J., Nix, G., & Hamm, D. (2003). Testing models of the experience of self-determination in intrinsic motivation and the conundrum of choice. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95, 375-392. DOI: 10.1037/0022-0622.214.171.1245
Reis, H. T., Sheldon, K. M., Gable, S. L., Roscoe, J., & Ryan, R. (2000). Daily well-being: The role of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, 22, 419-435 . DOI: 10.1177/0146167200266002
Ryan, R. M., & Connell, J. P. (1989). Perceived locus of causality and internalization: Examining reasons for acting in two domains. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 749-761. DOI: 10.1037/0022-35126.96.36.1999
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000a). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: Classic definitions and new directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 54-67. DOI: 10.1006/ceps.1999.1020
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000b). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68-78. DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.68
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2006). Self-regulation and the problem of human autonomy: Does psychology need choice, self-determination, and will?. Journal of Personality 74, DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2006.00420.x
Sansone, C., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (Eds.). (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation: The search for optimal motivation and performance. San Diego: Academic Press.
Sheldon, K. M., Ryan, R., & Reis, H. T. (1996). What makes for a good day? Competence and autonomy in the day and in the person. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 22, 1270-1279. DOI: 10.1177/01461672962212007
Stipek, D. (2002). Motivation to learn: Integrating theory and practice. (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.
Stronach, I., & Piper, H. (2008). Can liberal education make a comeback? The case of â€œrelational touchâ€ at Summerhill School. American Education Research Journal, 45, 6-37. DOI: 10.3102/0002831207311585
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. (2011). Child nutrition programs: Income eligibility guidelines, 76(58). Washington, DC: Federal Register.
Urdan, T. C. (1999). The role of context. In M. L. Maehr & P. R. Pintrich (Eds.) Advances in motivation and achievement (Vol. 11). Stamford, CT: JAI Press Inc..
Vansteenkiste, M., Sierens, E., Soenens, B., Luyckx, K., & Lens, W. (2009). Motivational profiles from a self-determination perspective: The quality of motivation matters. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101, 671-688.
Vansteenkiste, M., Zhou, M., Lens, W., & Soenens, B. (2005). Experiences of autonomy and control among chinese learners: Vitalizing or immobilizing?. Journal of Educational Psychology, 97, 468-483.
Vedder-Weiss, D., & Fortus, D. (2011). Adolescentsâ€™ declining motivation to learn science: Inevitable or not?. Journal Of Research In Science Teaching, 48(2), 199-216. DOI: 10.1002/tea.20398
VÃ©ronneau, M. H., Koestner, R. F., & Abela, J. R. Z. (2005). Intrinsic need satisfaction and wellbeing in children: An application of the self-determination theory. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 24, 280-292.
Volet, S., & Jarvela, S. (Eds.) (2001). Motivation in learning contexts: Theoretical advances and methodological implications. Oxford: Pergamon.
Wigfield, A., Eccles, J. S., & Rodriguez, D. (1998). The development of children's motivation in school contexts. Review Research in Education, 23, 73-118. Retrieved 22 May, 2013 from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1167288
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License of their choice (usually CCBY 3.0 unported, but determined at the proofing stage by consultation with the Editor - readers looking for copyright permissions are required to do this on a case by case basis) that allows others to share the work in some way with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal. We appreciate authors placing a link to the Other Education site wherever they choose to offer a PDF download to the original OE article.