Date of Award

Winter 12-18-2018

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Thomas Giblin

Second Advisor

Dawn Jones


The ways in which educators have tried to implement autonomy support have typically been constrained by their pedagogical interests and demands from above for certain threshold levels of performance. In our current educational system, this treats autonomy as a means to the end of measurement-based outcomes. The research on autonomy such as self-determination theory (SDT) often acknowledges the significance as a matter of background, but the actual ways teachers bring it into class is typically much more superficial than what might be possible with authentic cognitive autonomy support. Further, the innate status of the three needs put forth by SDT might imply we ought to facilitate their flourishing for their own sake, rather than for the sake of some measurement-based outcome. Rather than view autonomy supportive pedagogy as an instrumental means to an end, educators may benefit from considering autonomy supportive pedagogy as a form of pedagogical virtue which can be cultivated through practice.