Stan Hitron

Authenticity and Real Learning in the Writing Classroom

Using Deci's ideas on the components of intrinsic motivation and how people come to accept values that may not be inherent in their authentic selves, students' writing (in response to a prompt asking them to discuss how their educational experiences influenced their attitudes toward education and a response to a letter asking them to discuss their feelings about and reasons for being in college) was assessed to determine to what extent their motivation to pursue higher education seems to be integrated (fully and voluntarily incorporated into their sense of authentic self) and to what extent their motivation is introjected (taken on as an obligation imposed on them by an outside force such as society, parents, or some other authority). Analysis of students' writing showed that many students' motivation to pursue higher education is an introjected value. According to Deci, in such cases, students' authentic selves need to be respected by listening to their real attitude toward education and providing explanations to help them see the value for them personally in further education.

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Last Modified: 6/10/16