Re: Self-Determination theory versus SCT and AT

From: Lara Beaty (
Date: Tue Feb 08 2005 - 11:59:20 PST


I have a very inclusive notion of "context." It includes histories,
ideologies, material environments, and activities. Where and how
students participate in an online course is important: If the computer
is in their own home with affordances for privacy and time, it is very
different than if a person must share a computer, work with regular
interruptions, or use the computer at work or at a library. All of
these locations will change the activity as well as its meaning. In
terms of "why" (a word I usually try to avoid), I was thinking
particularly about whether the course is necessary for a job, is being
paid for by a job, or is necessary for a certificate or degree. The
basic question for me is to see how a student's activity is multiply

In some senses it does relate to the article for discussion (which I
haven't finished yet). I see identity and self as being about
relationships. A student who experiences being part of the class will
have a very different experience than a student who does not. I'm still
working it out, but looking at the connections between people,
activities, places, artifacts, and times provides a complex system of
meanings but one set in the concrete.

I hope that makes sense.


On Monday, February 7, 2005, at 06:15 PM, Jim Rogers wrote:

> lara,
> I'd love to hear more about what you are thinking re: contexts
>> . What works is to examine the contexts and the histories of the
>> people involved.
>> Rodrigo began with an insightful description of possible contexts of
>> online learning for students but concluded by stressing the
>> individual. Perhaps SDT has something to offer, but everything from
>> WHERE students have access to a computer to why they chose an online
>> course are important parts of the context and not parts of the
>> individual. I agree that Holland's work is useful, more useful than
>> SDT.
> when I think about the examples you provide above: 1) where students
> have access- I could conceivably see this as related to their identity
> (e.g. traditional student, stay at home dad, disabled etc..). and 2)
> why they chose an online class (e.g. convenience, perception it would
> be easier, interest) could also be related to identity. So in your
> view, in what ways would these examples NOT be part of the individual
> and, more importantly for me, what is the importance of these examples
> as context in influencing their activity. Was there a context in the
> example you provided with your children - again there I saw and
> thought of a definition of community- you and your child- as being the
> totality of your interrelationships with each other. And I do not
> hold the position that there is no context- I am hoping you can expand
> that understanding.
> I hope this doesn't take the discussion too far off the mark.
> jim

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