Use Self-Determination Instruction and Transform Student Attitude

Self-Determination Instruction

Do you know that every year a third of high school students in the US drop out of school without earning a diploma? Not only that, but in substantial urban areas, this dropout rate is as much as 47%. Is there anything that educators can do to bring the situation under control? The answer is enhancing self-determination instruction. Such instruction propels students to achieve goals because of their intrinsic motivation. It makes them take charge of their lives, resolve their problems, and become responsible for the impact of their choices.

Some crucial self-determination life skills include self-awareness, self-advocacy, problem-solving, and goal-setting. Continue reading to learn more about encouraging student self-determination. 

What Is Self-Determination Instruction?

Teachers should use the self-determination model of instruction to facilitate students to do the following. 

  • Create goals
  • Make suitable decisions and choices 
  • Create plans to meet goals 
  • Monitor progress toward the objectives 

There are three components of self-determination instruction. They include the following 

  • Student questions 
  • Teacher objectives 
  • Educational supports

Student questions guide students to resolve the major problem of every phase. The teacher’s objective gives a roadmap for teachers supporting students to solve the students’ questions. Educational support is used by teachers to give instructions to resolve student questions.  

This model works when the student asks, ‘what is my goal?’ and sets a goal for themselves. They then ask what their plan is and take action to execute it. Finally, they answer the question about what learning they’ve acquired by modifying the plan or goal. You can connect with a write my essay service to learn more about the different stages of this model.  

How to Enhance Student Motivation Using Self-Determination Theory?

The self-determination theory argues that students need to feel autonomy, competence, and a sense of belonging. These three components motivate them to learn. However, the three components can fluctuate. This happens because of extensive external rewards or motivators, positive feedback, and social support.  

Here are the major strategies to introduce self-determination instruction and make students drivers of their learning.

Refer back to the previous positive outcomes of student performance

Previous performance is a significant driver of student self-efficacy. Educators must ensure a success rate of as much as 80%. This can be done by presenting information in small steps, checking student understanding during the lessons, asking questions, and monitoring independent practice. 

A benchmark of an 80% student success rate shows that the learning is happening error-free and the learners are confident in their abilities to perform well. 

Give high-quality feedback

Feedback reduces discrepancies between a student’s knowledge of a concept and their performance. Educators should give feedback that helps students identify key goals, know their progress, and know the action they need to take to make progress. Connect with a write my essay for me an expert to learn more about giving quality feedback.

Foster a sense of belonging

Teachers can encourage a sense of belonging by strengthening relationships between their students and themselves. It’s also important to enhance relationships between students via team-building activities. Teachers can encourage students to feel like they belong by greeting them when they arrive. Another way is to check the progress of everyone in the class regularly. 

Make students more self-determined. 

Teachers can make their students become self-determined by guiding them to solve problems on their own. If they constantly solve problems for students, they never get a chance to develop analytical and critical thinking skills. Thus, teachers must give different problems and allow students to use their existing knowledge and skills to resolve them. It increases students’ confidence and helps them become self-determined. 

Let students take risks.

This is particularly essential for students with disabilities. Although the classroom is a safe environment for everyone, it must allow students to take risks and fail sometimes.  

For students with disabilities, it is of no use to prevent them from taking part in activities that challenge their perception of themselves. This will only make them lower their expectations and not get equal chances in the future.  

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Limit rewards

It’s not bad to reward students for their achievements. However, self-determination instruction upholds that overusing rewards weakens the intrinsic motivations of students. It is best to reward students only if they fulfill standards that need a high level of practice or repetition. 

Instead of relying on rewards, deliver meaningful feedback. For example, tell students what particularly appealed to you about a task they did. Besides, tell them how they can improve their existing work and boost their competence. It will increase their intrinsic motivation to learn. 

Give choices and honor student preferences.

Give students a couple of choices during their learning phase. Although it can feel complicated because students don’t know what is best for them, it will indeed make them self-motivated individuals. Let them pick between various writing implements, locations to complete independent work, recess activities, and snack options.  

Let them decide the best ways to organize their schedule and engage in play tasks. These opportunities throughout the day will empower them to make good choices. 

How to Promote Self-Determination Instruction in Students of Different Ages

The student curriculum should have a component of self-determination embedded. Here are some age-appropriate activities for students of different ages. 

  • Early Elementary 

  1. Give chances to students to make choices. Tell them that many choices have restricted options only. 
  2. Give students simple problems to foster problem-solving skills. 
  3. Provide feedback based on the results of their choices. It helps students learn the link between choices and consequences. 
  4. Help students assess their work in comparison to a set standard. It develops self-management skills.
  • Middle school

  1. Guide students to analyze potential options with associated benefits and disadvantages. It helps them participate in simple decision-making.
  2. Guide them in creating and committing to academic and personal goals.
  3. Helps them to assess task performance and ways to improve it. 
  • High school 

  1. Guide students to make decisions influencing different aspects of their lives. 
  2. Focus on the link between student objectives and the daily choices and decisions they make.

Final Words 

Self-determination instruction helps to increase motivation by supporting student autonomy and competence. When implemented correctly, students become intrinsically motivated to learn. It led to the development of independent and lifelong learners.