Motivation and Education: The Self-Determination Perspective

Edward L. Deci, Richard M. Ryan, Robert J. Vallerand, Luc G. Pelletier

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1885 Scopus citations


Self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985, 1991), when applied to the realm of education, is concerned primarily with promoting in students an interest in learning, a valuing of education, and a confidence in their own capacities and attributes. These outcomes are manifestations of being intrinsically motivated and internalizing values and regulatory processes. Research suggests that these processes result in high-quality learning and conceptual understanding as well as enhanced personal growth and adjustment. In this article we also describe social-contextual factors that nurture intrinsic motivation and promote internalization, leading to the desired educational outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-346
Number of pages22
JournalEducational Psychologist
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 1 Jun 1991

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Preparation of this article was supported in part by a research grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (HD19914) to the Human Motivation Program in the Department of Psychology at the University of Rochester and by research grants from Le Fonds pour la Formation des Chercheurs et l'Aide d la Recherche (FCAR QuCbec), the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and Le Conseil QukbCcois de la Recherche Sociale to Robert J. Vallerand.


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