Differences between home educated and traditionally educated young adults
Richard Ryan and Edward Deci define intrinsic motivation as performing an activity solely for inherent satisfaction. An intrinsically motivated individual is energized about the task they are performing, and upon completion, feels a sense of satisfaction or fulfillment. The concept of intrinsic motivation can be understood within the theoretical framework of Deci and Ryan’s Self-Determination Theory (SDT). According to SDT, the source of intrinsic motivation is innate and refers to the “natural human tendency to learn and assimilate.”
Although research points to intrinsic motivation as a quality humans are born with, the maintenance and enhancement of this motivation is somewhat dependent upon social and environmental conditions. Deci and Ryan’s Cognitive Evaluation Theory (CET), a sub-theory of SDT, specifically addresses the social and environmental factors that facilitate rather than undermine intrinsic motivation and points to three significant psychological needs that must be present in the individual in order to foster self motivation. These needs are competence, autonomy, and relatedness. The purpose of this study is to assess whether homeschooled young adults’ needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness are better satisfied as compared to young adults who were not homeschooled.
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