Autonomy-Supportive Teachers- How they teach and motivate students

Autonomy-Supportive Teachers- How they teach and motivate students

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Journal of Educational Psychology 1999, Vol. 91, No. 3, 537-548 Copyright 1999 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 0022-0663/99/$3.00 Autonomy-Supportive Teachers: How They Teach and Motivate Students Johnmarshall Reeve University of Iowa Elizabeth Bolt and Yi Cai University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee The authors examined motivating style in terms of a teacher's disposition to control students or support their autonomy. In Study 1, 4 independent samples of preservice teachers completed the Problems in Schools (PS) questionnaire so the authors could critically evaluate the instrument to assess motivating style as an individual difference characteristic. In Study 2, preservice teachers taught a 10-min instructional episode as raters judged their language and style. In Study 3, elementary and high school teachers self-reported a recent attempt to teach and motivate one of their students. Compared with their controlling counterparts, autonomy- supportive teachers showed a distinctive motivating style as measured by their conversational behaviors, interpersonal style, and attempts to support students' intrinsic motivational and internalization processes. Teachers vary in the interpersonal styles they rely on to Ryan, 1981; Rigby, Deci, Patrick, & Ryan, 1992; Grolnick, 1986). Some teachers target a way of thinking, feeling, or behaving and then offer extrinsic incentives and consequences for progress that their students show toward that way of thinking, feeling, or behaving. This style is relatively controlling, because the teacher's goal is to control students' behavior so desirable states occur more frequently and undesirable ones occur less frequently. Other teachers teach and motivate by identifying and supporting students' interests and by supporting their internalization of the school's values and agenda. This style is relatively au- tonomy supportive, because the teacher's goal is to support students' interest in and valuing of education. The motivating style a teacher relies on—controlling versus autonomy supportive—is relatively stable over the course of the academic year (Deci, Schwartz, et al., 1981) and is important because a teacher's style influences stu- dents' school-related motivation, emotion, and performance (for reviews, see Deci & Ryan, 1987; Deci, Vallerand,
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Autonomy-Supportive Teachers- How they teach and motivate students

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