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Facilitating Youth’s Curiosity : Needs-based Ecological Examinations

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Title: Facilitating Youth’s Curiosity : Needs-based Ecological Examinations
Author(s): Huang, Haoyan
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Educational Sciences
Degree program: Master's Programme in Changing Education
Specialisation: Changing Education
Language: English
Acceptance year: 2023
Despite that curiosity is beneficial for learning, researchers found that it is declining among adolescents. The aim of this thesis is to identify the prominent environment facilitators for youths’ curiosity from an Ecological perspective that includes both family and school. To further understand the developmental effects, two age cohorts (10-year-old and 15-year-old) were compared. In total, 5482 Finnish students (3034 aged 10, 2448 aged 15) from the OECD Survey on Social-emotional Skills were chosen and their family and school factors related to basic psychological needs were surveyed (autonomy, competence, relatedness). Using Complex Two-level Hierarchical Linear Modeling, results demonstrated that (1) parents’ criterion-referenced evaluation, relations with both parents and teachers were associated with youths’ curiosity, whereas autonomy support was not; (2) parents’ criterion-referenced evaluation played the primary role in younger youths’ curiosity, but its effect was much smaller in the elder cohort; and (3) relations with teachers was a vital driving factor for elder youths’ curiosity, though its effect was weaker on the younger. Findings extend the literature by identifying the prominent need-based supporting factors in different age periods for youths’ curiosity facilitation.
Keyword(s): curiosity learning environment ecological perspective self-determination theory

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