Autonomy-Supportive Teaching: What It Is, How to Do It
Autonomy-supportive teaching strongly predicts positive functioning in both the students who receive autonomy support and the teachers who give it. Recognizing this, the present paper provides conceptual and operational definitions of autonomy support (to explain what it is) and offers step-by-step guidelines of how to put it into practice during classroom instruction (to explain how to do it). The focus is on the following six empirically validated autonomy-supportive instructional behaviors that, together, constitute the autonomy-supportive motivating style: take the students’ perspective, vitalize inner motivational resources, provide explanatory rationales, acknowledge and accept negative affect, rely on informational and nonpressuring language, and display patience. For each act of instruction, I define what it is, articulate when it is most needed during instruction, explain why it is educationally important, and provide examples and recommendations of how to put it into practice.