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Self Determination Theory, developed by Edward L. Deci and Richard Ryan, is a motivation theory suggesting that if the innate psychological needs of people are met, their motivation will be achieved without external influence and intervention. According to this theory, autonomy (the ability to make decisions about one's own life on its own), competence (having control over outcomes and believing that one has the ability and ability to do any job) and relatedness support (to interact, connect, and value others) are psychological needs and are the optimal conditions for intrinsic motivation. In this study, the relationship between relatedness support provided by teachers in their instructional behavior and its relationship to student engagement was investigated. Students' engagement in the lesson is considered as part of their learning motivation. Designed as a cross-sectional observation study, 191 students from private and public high schools in Ankara were observed at three different times in the same class by two independent observers who received training in Self Determination Theory from the Department of Psychology. With the questions directed to the students, a positive correlation was found between students’ behavioral engagement (raising finger, asking questions, obeying the class rules, completing the given tasks), emotional engagement (enthusiasm, curiosity, interest, optimism), cognitive engagement (advanced deep information processing level and self-regulation skills) and agentic engagement (students' constructive contribution to their own learning, initiating new tasks) and the relatedness support provided by their teachers. When teachers spend time with their students, when they are physically nearby them, when they answer students’ questions, when they are clear and organized in the instructions given about the lesson, students' participation in the lesson has increased. The study also showed that teachers 'awareness of their own instructional behavior was positively correlated with students' intrinsic motivation. Feeling related to the classroom environment, the lesson, peers and the teacher enhances classroom motivation.

Self determination theory, relatedness support, motivation theory, engagement, need supportive teaching


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