Special Education M.A.

Number of Pages


Year Approved


First Advisor

Wolkerstorfer, Jodi

Second Reader

Mary Lindell;


Task avoidance and keeping students motivated in the classroom are common struggles that elementary school teachers face in their career. This literature review explores task aversiveness in elementary students and how they are motivated to complete tasks. The research shows that when the Self-Determination Theory is considered a student’s psychological needs of competence, autonomy, and relatedness can be fulfilled to help students improve their intrinsic motivation and reduce task avoidance. Applying this theory to teaching is done through the application of autonomy-supportive teaching and allows the teacher to take a student-focused attitude and an understanding interpersonal tone.

Degree Name

Special Education M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis