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Critique of self-determination theory - Assignment Example

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Although a great many theories currently exists within the field of education and educational psychology, it is the belief of this author that one of the most effective theories that has thus far been integrated is that of the self-determination theory of education. As the name…
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Section/# Motivation: An Analysis of the Self-Determination Theory of Psychology with Reference to the Field of Education
Although a great many theories currently exists within the field of education and educational psychology, it is the belief of this author that one of the most effective theories that has thus far been integrated is that of the self-determination theory of education. As the name implies, the self-determination theory of education places a very strong emphasis upon the means by which the individual integrates with an understanding of the overall importance of whatever process they are involved within. Accordingly, it is the belief of this author that the greatest strength of the self-determination theory in education is concentric upon the means by which it serves to help educators understand the concept of motivation within their stakeholders (Brophy, 2010). Though one may be tempted to view the self-determination theory of education as something of a hands off approach, the truth of the matter is that the theory itself encourages educator involvement in the form of integrating understandings of the value of risk within the students. Even though the series by its very nature places the most responsibility within the hands of the student/stakeholder, a proper understanding of motivation by the educator is sufficient to ensure that a given degree of self-determination will ultimately be realized.
Likewise, with regards to the greatest weakness, the reader can readily understand that due to the great differentials and personality type that exists within the student body, not all individuals will fully integrate with a self deterministic approach to education. As with any theory, the weakness of the self-determination theory in education hinges upon the fact that although it helps to adequately explain a majority of educator/student involvement, it is ultimately not 100% effective in explaining all educator/student involvement.
With regards to the work of Edwards Deci and Richard Ryan, the self determination theory is understood in a slightly different way. Accordingly, these authors note that the self-determination theory, though effective, ultimately seeks to reward those that most actively integrate with the process of education (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Even though this is not a bad thing, it necessarily implies that those students that do not seek to actively participate or motivate themselves will be at a significant disadvantage if this theory is applied universally within education. The authors note that the application of this theory can be seen as something of a reward mechanism whereby the students that exhibit a high degree of drive are rewarded for this was positive levels of reinforcement/good grades etc; whereas the students that do not integrate with this particular approach are even more disadvantaged and less motivated than they would have been traditionally (Deci & Ryan, 1985). As a function of this level of understanding, the authors point out the fact that although the theory is useful, it cannot be used solitarily to define the educational integration process; rather, it should be used in tandem with other approaches so as to motivate the highest number of shareholders within the given system in question.
Brophy, J. (2010). Motivating students to learn. (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York: Plenum.
Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist, 55, 68-78. Read More
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