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ERIC Number: EJ1016881
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1306-3065
Influences on Students' Environmental Self Determination and Implications for Science Curricula
Darner, Rebekka
International Journal of Environmental and Science Education, v9 n1 p21-39 2014
According to self-determination theory, social contexts that support students' basic psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness foster motivation toward behaviors that are valued in that social context. This study investigated the socio-contextual elements of a learning environment that support or undermine students' basic psychological needs as they relate to solving environmental problems. Individual stimulated-recall interviews were conducted with a student group after they participated in environmental problem-solving tasks over the course of a semester. Data were taken on students' reported feelings of competence, relatedness, and autonomy, and the classroom features to which they attributed those feelings. Six features of the instructional environment were inferred to be supportive of students' basic psychological needs. These are referred to as "curricular interconnectivity," "conceptualization problem sets," "instructional guidance," "socio-scientific integration" throughout the curriculum, "student-guided lecture," and "cohesive group dynamics." One feature of the instructional environment seemed to undermine students' basic psychological needs; it is referred to as the "'anything-goes' norm." These features are explained with supporting evidence and consequences regarding students' needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness. The article concludes with a discussion of considerations when constructing science curricula, given the impacts on environmental motivation.
International Consortium for the Advancement of Academic Publication. Abant Izzet Baysal University, Faculty of Education, 14280 Golkoy-Bolu, Turkey. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A