A NARRATIVE STUDY OF FOSTER YOUTH PERCEPTIONS OF LEARNING CLIMATE THROUGH A SELF DETERMINATION LENS
ABSTRACT A NARRATIVE STUDY OF FOSTER YOUTH PERCEPTIONS OF LEARNING CLIMATE THROUGH A SELF DETERMINATION LENS Under the direction of KAREN WELLER SWANSON, Ed. D. Foster youth or former foster youth face many educational, social, and emotional struggles in the classroom. Through a lens of self-determination, this study investigates the perceptions of foster youth or former foster youth about teacher autonomy support in the classroom, as well as how they perceive that teacher autonomy support affects their motivation and achievement. The five themes that arose from research question one in this study are: Theme 1 – Acceptance, Respect, Understanding, Family-Like Atmosphere; Theme 2 – Confidence, Trustworthiness, and Encouragement; Theme 3 – Understanding the Goal of the Class; Theme 4 – Comfortable Learning Environment for Dialogue and Listening; and Theme 5 – Choices and Options in the Classroom. These themes suggest ways that teachers can provide for the needs of foster youth while also improving their motivation and academic performance. The four themes which emerged from research question two are: Theme 1 - Confidence, Theme 2 - Motivation; Theme 3 – Inspiration; and Theme 4 – Emotional State. These themes concern the effect on the foster child of having autonomy supportive requirements met.