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Autonomy and Competence Drive High School Seniors’ Academic Intentions

journal contribution
posted on 2023-03-05, 22:09 authored by Nicole Reed, Ashley Bailey, Shakari Laws, Persis Driver, Kuan Xing, Theresa Thorkildsen

Debunking the myth that all seniors experience extreme levels of disengagement in their last year of high school, seniors (n=138) from two urban schools completed three activities designed to measure their sense of responsibility for their own education.  The resulting beliefs, desires, and reported actions, elicited using surveys, focus-group discussions, and open-ended writing, were subject to third-person analyses to reveal individual differences in seniors’ intentions.  Students offered many more positive statements about constructive educational aspirations, goals, and responsibilities than is reflected in the senioritis myth.  Learning more about how to help seniors celebrate their achievements and welcome them into new levels of independence may also reduce disaffection that sometimes dominate seniors’ school behavior.  



Reed, N., Bailey, A., Laws, S., Driver, P., Xing, K., & Thorkildsen, T. A. (2015). Autonomy and Competence Drive High School Seniors’ Academic Intentions. Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Research Journal, 1(1), 33–42.

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