Intrinsic Motivation and Engagement as “Active Ingredients” in Garden-Based Education: Examining Models and Measures Derived From Self-Determination Theory

January 1st, 2012 | RESEARCH

Building on self-determination theory, this study presents a model of intrinsic motivation and engagement as “active ingredients” in garden-based education. The model was used to create reliable and valid measures of key constructs, and to guide the empirical exploration of motivational processes in garden-based learning. Teacher- and student-reports of garden engagement, administered to 310 middle school students, demonstrated multidimensional structures, good measurement properties, convergent validity, and the expected correlations with self-perceptions in the garden, garden learning, achievement, and engagement in science and school. Exploratory path analyses, calculated using multiple regression, provided initial support for the self-determination model of motivation: students’ perceived autonomy, competence, and intrinsic motivation uniquely predicted their engagement in the garden, which in turn, predicted learning in the gardens and achievement in school.


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Team Members

Ellen Skinner, Author, Portland State University
Una Chi, Author, Portland State University


Identifier Type: issn
Identifier: 0095-8964
Identifier Type: doi
Identifier: 10.1080/00958964.2011.596856

Publication: Journal of Environmental Education
Volume: 43
Number: 1
Page(s): 16

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Audience: Educators | Teachers | Evaluators | Middle School Children (11-13)
Discipline: Education and learning science
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Informal | Formal Connections | K-12 Programs | Park | Outdoor | Garden Programs | Public Programs