Students’ Satisfaction of Relatedness Need in a Graduate-Level Teacher Education Course

Jung-In Kim, School of Education and Human Development at the University of Colorado Denver

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Abstract

In this study, we investigated student reports on how one of the three basic psychological needs—the need for relatedness—was supported in various ways in a graduate-level teacher education classroom context. The current study reports how feelings of relatedness of students with various cultural backgrounds were supported in complex ways in a teacher education class, not only through warm social interaction, but also through their connection to content materials in class and through personal connections to the instructor. Students and teacher narratives helped us to capture their socioculturally constructed and situated direct/implicit identification of themselves as learners within the classroom context, which informed students’ classroom motivational experiences and their degree of relatedness.