Considerations for Effective Use of Moral Exemplars in Education: Based on the Self-Determination Theory and Data Syntheses

Theory and Research in Education (forthcoming)
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Abstract

The present study aimed to examine how to improve the effectiveness of moral exemplar-applied interventions based on the pillars of the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) framework, autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Past research has mainly focused on the relatedness and attainability of moral exemplars for predicting motivation outcomes. The data for this study consisted of synthesized data sets from previous studies examining the motivational impacts of distinct moral exemplars and intervention methods. The main syntheses for these data sets used Multilevel Modeling (MLM) focusing on relatability, attainability, and intervention methods, corresponding to relatedness, competence, and autonomy in the SDT, respectively, as predictors. In general, there was a significant interaction effect between the attainability or relatability, and the intervention method. Autonomous instruction methods, which support autonomy, were demonstrated to boost motivational outcomes. Implications from this study support the employment of SDT to examine the use of moral exemplars in moral education and were consistent with previous exemplar studies.

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