The influence of basic psychological needs on the identification of goals and aspirations of Grade 11 learners in the Western Cape
In South Africa when learners are in Grade 11 near the end of their school life, the new, but also difficult, transition into adult life now begins. This critical period of development brings forth an array of new challenges: exercising free will, being independent, an increased focus of self, and the decision on what path is to be taken after school. With these challenges comes the act of motivation to acquire the particular goals and aspirations of Grade 11 learners. The question posed was therefore what exactly motivates the South African Grade 11 learner, and why are they motivated to set and aspire to certain goals? The study investigated the basic psychological needs of Grade 11 learners at secondary schools in the Western Cape, along with its relation to the identification of the goals and aspirations of these learners. The study was quantitative in nature. Grade 11 learners currently enrolled for the 2012 academic year, attending secondary schools in the Metro North Western Cape Education District, were invited to participate in the study. This study investigated the influence of basic psychological needs on goals and aspiration pursuits. The sample consisted of 264 Grade 11 learners and data was collected through the administration of a questionnaire compiled through the combination of two scales: The Aspiration Index, and the Basic Measure of Psychological Needs Scale. The data was analyzed through regression analysis. The results of the study suggest that the satisfaction of needs was found to be a significant predictor of both intrinsic as well as extrinsic goal pursuits. The findings further provide an understanding of how basic psychological needs influence the identification of goals and aspirations of Grade 11 Learners. Recommendations are provided for further research in the field of adolescent basic psychological needs and its influences on the identification of goals and aspirations.