Building Autonomous Learners: Perspectives from Self-determination Theory

What energises and directs the behaviours of students and teachers? This question has been the key in guiding motivational research in education worldwide. Education in Singapore has been shifting away from rote learning, and moving towards incorporating programmes that encourage the independent learning of students. Recognizing the value of nurturing students’ joy of learning, the Ministry of Education, Singapore, recognises the necessity for educators to prepare students to be self-directed and lifelong learners. The need to deepen our knowledge of motivation in students grows ever more imperative. This succinctly summarizes the aim of this presentation, which seeks to deconstruct the psychological factors underlying self-regulated learning using wisdom from self-determination theory. The presentation will provide a description of the self-determination theory and research evidence in supporting its use in the classroom context. Next, a few key research studies conducted in Singapore will be shared. Finally, key strategies for creating autonomous learners will be presented.

About the Presenter

Professor John Wang

Dean, Graduate Studies and Professional Learning
National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University

As Dean, he is responsible for innovating and offering professional development programmes for all Singapore teachers in the areas of academic higher degrees, leadership and in-service courses and professional learning programmes. To date, Prof Wang has published more than 170 refereed articles and book chapters, and more than 200 conference papers, presentations, and other publications. He is also a member of 14 editorial boards, including International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology (Section Editor). He has been involved in more than 50 research projects with a total grant of more than $4 million Singapore dollars.

Presentation Slide

Building Autonomous Learners: Perspectives from Self-determination Theory