Motivation to learn: Engaging students with congenital and acquired deafblindness

Ineke Haakma

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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People are intrinsically motivated to learn. This also holds for children with deafblindness, even though deafblindness can negatively influence their motivation to learn. Double sensory loss can hinder the ability to explore, observe, imitate and communicate. Teachers have an important role in creating an accessible and safe environment in which learning can take place. An important part of this involves teachers taking into account their students’ needs. According to Self-Determination Theory, the psychological needs for competence, autonomy and relatedness influence whether people are motivated to learn. Teachers can support these needs by providing structure, autonomy support and involvement. This research explored the extent to which teachers support the needs of students with congenital and acquired deafblindness and what its effect is on student motivation. Video analysis was the most important method applied in this study. The results showed that students’ motivation is generally high when teachers provide need support, suggesting that need-supporting teacher behavior does indeed influence student motivation. In general, teachers provide more structure than autonomy support and involvement. Furthermore, it appeared possible to coach teachers in need-supportive behaviors. We concluded this research with the recommendation to pay more attention to need-supportive teaching in the professionalization of teachers. The provision of autonomy support deserves particular attention, given that the teachers in this study focused least on autonomy.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Janssen, Marleen, Supervisor
  • Minnaert, Alexander, Supervisor
Award date17-Dec-2015
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Print ISBNs978-90-367-8329-3
Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-8328-6
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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