First Advisor

Woodrow, Kelli


College for Professional Studies

Degree Name

Master of Education


School of Education and Counseling

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access



Number of Pages

111 pages


Self-Determination Theory: Increasing Motivation in Middle School Students Research shows that motivation declines when students enter middle school. Because of this, middle school teachers face the difficult challenge of motivating their students to learn. Although intrinsic motivation results in higher conceptual learning, not all activities in a classroom are intrinsically motivated. Self-Determination Theorists propose that through the process of internalization, students' motivation towards extrinsically motivated activities could reach levels in which the behavioral qualities are comparable to those of intrinsic motivation. The internalization process is dependent on environmental supports for autonomy, competence, relatedness, and task relevance. A handbook based on strategies and concrete examples was developed for middle school teachers to use to maintain intrinsic motivation and promote self-determined behavior in students when engaged in extrinsically motivated activities.

Date of Award

Spring 2008

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado

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