Title

Autonomous Motivation: The Montessori Method and Self-Determination Theory

Abstract

Alternative educator Maria Montessori and Ryan and Deci's Self-determination Theory share a basic claim about human nature: that autonomously motivated activity is the best kind of activity because it characterizes optimal psychological health. Autonomous motivation is engaging in an activity because it has been chosen and endorsed through a process of self-reflection. SDT argues that autonomous motivation is associated with a number of positive psychological health outcomes. Montessori’s pedagogy aims to cultivate autonomously motivated individuals because she considers these individuals to be psychologically optimal. Further, Montessori and SDT both claim that autonomous motivation is facilitated by the constructs of autonomy, relatedness, and competence. This poster provides the conceptual connections that would allow Montessori educators to see how empirically grounded features of SDT can support or help refine Montessori's pedagogy. This project also shows how conceptual distinctions in Montessori's philosophy can support or push SDT research in new directions.

Faculty Sponsor

Patrick Frierson

Tracks

poster

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Location

Cordiner Hall

Presentation Type

Poster

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Apr 11th, 1:00 PM Apr 11th, 2:00 PM

Autonomous Motivation: The Montessori Method and Self-Determination Theory

Cordiner Hall

Alternative educator Maria Montessori and Ryan and Deci's Self-determination Theory share a basic claim about human nature: that autonomously motivated activity is the best kind of activity because it characterizes optimal psychological health. Autonomous motivation is engaging in an activity because it has been chosen and endorsed through a process of self-reflection. SDT argues that autonomous motivation is associated with a number of positive psychological health outcomes. Montessori’s pedagogy aims to cultivate autonomously motivated individuals because she considers these individuals to be psychologically optimal. Further, Montessori and SDT both claim that autonomous motivation is facilitated by the constructs of autonomy, relatedness, and competence. This poster provides the conceptual connections that would allow Montessori educators to see how empirically grounded features of SDT can support or help refine Montessori's pedagogy. This project also shows how conceptual distinctions in Montessori's philosophy can support or push SDT research in new directions.

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