Symposia SDT Conference

Optimal learning in optimal contexts: The role of self-determination theory in education

Chair: F. Guay

Professor Dr. O. Gordeeva, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russian Federation 
Professor Dr. F. Guay, Laval University, Quebec, Canada
Assistant Professor T.C. Chichekian, University of Quebec, Montreal, Canada
Dr. J. Chanal PhD, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

In recent decades, many empirical studies have used SDT as a theoretical framework to study various learning environments in the field of education. Most of these studies have considered the contribution of personal and environmental factors to the understanding of students' academic achievement, engagement, creativity, and well-being. Specifically, research shows that high levels of autonomous academic motivation from students lead to superior levels of academic performance, sustained school persistence, enhanced ways of learning, greater satisfaction in school, and more positive emotions experienced at school. Studies using a student-centered approach also suggest that a profile characterized by high autonomous and controlled motivation is generally associated with positive educational outcomes, but that more benefits result from a purely autonomous motivation profile (high autonomous and low controlled motivation). Past research findings have also indicated that parents, peers, and teachers who support students' autonomy can foster autonomous motivation. Additionally, recent studies show that certain intervention programs appear to be effective in fostering students' self-determined motivation toward various school subjects. This symposium, bringing together researchers from different parts of the world (Canada, Switzerland, Russia), is aligned with this rich research tradition looking at the determinants and consequences of autonomous and controlled forms of academic motivation. More specifically: 

Tamara O. Gordeeva will present a recent study on educational practices (the El' konin-Davydov system) that are the most susceptible to foster students' autonomous motivation. 

Frederic Guay will describe a novel approach based on SDT to overcome the limits of person-fit models to understand students' vocational interests and development. 

Tanya Chichekian will address how achievement and well-being in the context of STEM education could be optimally developed through the passion that students develop and the autonomy supportive context in which they evolve. 

Julien Chanal will address an issue that has been neglected in SDT education research, namely the specificity of types of motivation in different school subjects and how this motivational specificity could be better understood by the level of autonomy support offered in different classroom contexts. Each participant will discuss the theoretical and practical implications resulting from SDT, as well as how they envision knowledge translation in their practice.