I see elements of self-determination theory pop up in liberated ed, critical pedagogy, and other places where people have turned away from behaviorism. Self-determination theory is a better lens for understanding human motivation than behaviorism.
Telltales of self-determination theory are the terms autonomy, mastery, purpose, and intrinsic motivation. Daniel Pink’s pop-sci treatment of self-determination theory, “Drive”, helped popularize these terms.
Audrey Watters asks of persuasion and behavior design “how they imagine to leave space for freedom and dignity.” Self-determination theory offers that space, which is why it shows up in progressive education and neurodiversity advocacy.
Dr. Leif Singer has a great introduction to self-determination theory:
Jonathan Mooney offers an example of autonomy, mastery, purpose, and intrinsic motivation in this brilliant talk. This timestamped link should take you to the right place: