High school science students are in the midst of developmental changes to become independent individuals, and as such they thrive on classroom activities that allow them to set and pursue personal goals, self-direct their actions, and feel in control. When learning is guided by such internal processes, instead of by externally imposed directives, intrinsic motivation can flourish leading to increased engagement and learning. More about the positive role of autonomy in science learning and how teachers can encourage autonomy in the classroom is described in chapter 4.
Resources to support teachers in providing autonomy support can be found by clicking on the links shown at right. Those resources include handouts and activities, further reading, links to recommended websites, and short (~ 3 minute) video clips illustrating the importance of this concept to practicing scientists and showing exemplary high school teachers who practice the strategies recommended in the book.