Conceptualizing the process of supporting youths' psychological needs and intrinsic motivation within school based agricultural education programs: a mixed methods study
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The purpose of this mixed methods study was to identify the strategies, actions, and processes School Based Agricultural Education (SBAE) teachers utilize to support the psychological needs and intrinsic motivation of students. Through an exploratory sequential design, quantitative instruments were first utilized to gauge the motivational climate of the programs and the teachers' tendencies to either be autonomy supporting or controlling. Qualitative grounded theory interviews and observations were utilized to determine the actions and processes of needs support within the program. Through the convergent analysis a substantive theory was formed which identified the process for supporting SBAE student psychological needs. Within the theory, teacher motivational beliefs emerged as the context to which the needs support process was fostered and developing and supported the need for relatedness emerged as the central phenomenon. Within the process, teachers also utilized extrinsic and intrinsic motivational strategies, along with the intracurricular nature of SBAE programs to foster and strengthen student motivation. Students experienced a range of outcomes including support for the need of competence, support and thwart for the need of autonomy, and a range of extrinsic and intrinsic motivational outcomes.