Document Type

Capstone Project (Open Access)

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Liberal Studies


Liberal Studies

First Advisor

Paoze Thao


Studies show that autonomy in school-age children helps students in terms of academics and in becoming well-rounded members of the society (Bandura, 1993). This senior capstone explores how autonomy is taught successfully in Japanese schools, explains its structure, and how it can be facilitated. Through the use of literature review as well as surveys conducted with 12 Japanese exchange students and 15 Liberal Studies students, results were inconclusive and are premature to determine how the concept of autonomy is fostered in U.S school-aged children. However, the literature review found that in Japanese elementary schools, educators use the Self-Determination theory and Self-Efficacy theory to facilitate autonomy in school-aged children; whereas no findings were found in the U.S. elementary schools.