Motivation and Education: The Self-Determination Perspective

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1353 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


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