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Learning Self-Determination Theory of Motivation and Applying It to Real-Life Situation

Motivation is derived from the word 'motive' which means needs, wishes, desires, aspirations, dreams, wants, or goals. It is a drive within the individuals that serve as a push to achieve their ambitions in life. It is a way of inspiring people in order for them to execute the necessary actions towards the attainment of their targets. For those who belonged in the workforce, the stimuli include wages, salaries, bonuses, incentives, awards, recognition, appreciation, recognition, success satisfaction, working relationship, and team work. For those who are still attending their schooling, the factors include awards, recognition, appreciation, and belongingness. Thus, the desires vary from one person to another which is primary aligned to the main goal that a person wished to achieve.

Self-determination theory grew out of researchers Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan, psychologists at the University of Rochester, work on motivation in the 1970s and 1980s. This underwent the process of expanding and further development since then, but its basic tenets come from Deci and Ryan's seminal 1985 book on motivation. It links personality, human behavior, and optimal functioning. It emphasizes the two main types of motivation, that is intrinsic and extrinsic factors which are beneficial in the making and establishing a self. Usually, it answers the premise: Who are you and How will you behave on a certain event, situation, or issue.

Self-determination theory of motivation addresses issues of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is when you do something because you enjoy it or find it interesting. The drive comes from within oneself; it is internal factor that influence an individual. Extrinsic motivation is when you do something because of external rewards or to avoid negative consequences. The drive comes from outside forces; it is external factor that influence an individual.

Self-determination theory also addresses three universal, innate and psychological needs such as competence, autonomy, and psychological relatedness. Competence refers to the need to produce desired outcomes and to experience mastery. The truth that in every action, there is a positive or negative results. Experiences are still the best teacher because we are learning everything from these episodes in life that are not written or being discussed inside the classroom setting. Autonomy refers to the need to feel ownership of one's behavior. The truth that everyone is unique in everything. One is different from another person. Recognizing and accepting the differences of one person or another really helps in establishing the identity of an individual. Individual differences must always be considered in order to understand why one individual behaves that way as compared with others. Psychological relatedness refers to the need to feel connected to others. The truth that no one lives alone in this world is directed by the previous statement. Everyone needs to feel the sense of belongingness in the family, organization, workforce, or group. These three universal, innate, and psychological needs foster the most volitional and high quality forms of motivation and engagement for activities, including enhanced performance, persistence, and creativity.

Deci and Ryan claim that there are three important elements of the theory. It includes (1) humans are inherently proactive with their potential and mastering their inner forces such as drives and emotions, (2) humans have an inherent tendency toward growth development and integrated functioning, and (3) optimal development and actions are inherent in humans but they do not happen automatically. In order for the individuals to acquire these elements, they need to nurture, deal, and attach from the social environment.

Many schools around the globe are utilizing self-determination theory as a mode of instruction. It is a way to better motivate and catch the interests of the learners that paves the way in addressing the growing needs to teach them the various ways to fully accept responsibilities in their lives. It helps them to identify their needs and to develop means to meet those needs.

Looking at the present situations of those who already earned their baccalaureate degrees, they are experiencing high rates of unemployment, under-employment, and poverty. Providing support for learners, building self-determination is one of the ways to enhance learning and improvement. Schools have particularly emphasized the use of self-determination curricula to meet the mandates to actively involve all learners in the school and that includes the learners with special education needs. Programs to promote self-determination help the individuals to acquire knowledge, skills, beliefs, and values that meet their needs for competence, autonomy, and psychological relatedness. These programs provide instruction that are helping the individuals to become active and productive members of the society.

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