UNSCHOOLING: A DIRECT EDUCATIONAL APPLICATION OF DECI AND RYAN’S (1985) SELF DETERMINATION THEORY AND COGNITIVE EVALUATION THEORY

Gina Riley

Abstract


Unschooling is a variation of homeschooling where, instead of following a set curriculum, children learn through everyday life experiences. As an increasing number of families are choosing to unschool, it becomes important to further study the workings of this philosophical and educational choice. It is estimated that approximately 12% of families who homeschool, unschool their children. The unschooling environment itself tends to provide space for self-directed and intrinsically motivated learning, and seems to be a direct educational application of Deci and Ryan’s (1985) Self Determination Theory and Cognitive Evaluation Theory. Within this paper, the author describes and expands upon how the unschooling environment is a modern example of true, intrinsically motivated learning. The author also discusses how unschooling families tend to naturally provide the three psychological needs developed within Cognitive Evaluation Theory, specifically the needs of competence, autonomy, and relatedness.

 

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unschooling, homeschooling, self directed learning, self determination theory, cognitive evaluation theory

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References


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