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Abstract

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.
... Competence refers to feelings of mastery and capability and is satisfied when one "feels able to operate effectively within their important life contexts" (Ryan & Deci, 2017, p. 11). The third basic psychological need, relatedness, is affiliated with experiences of belongingness, care, mutual concern, reciprocity, and social connectedness (Baumeister & Leary, 1995;Reeve, 2016). The satisfactions of autonomy, competence, and relatedness have been shown to predict well-being between (Chen et al., 2015) and within individuals (La Guardia et al., 2000), including over time . ...
... Educators can make changes to their own classrooms, interactions with students, and school or institutional culture to help satisfy learners' basic psychological needs and, in turn, their overall well-being (Niemiec & Ryan, 2009;Ryan & Deci, 2020). Termed "autonomy-supportive teaching" (Reeve, 2016;Reeve et al., 2004), this growing list of empirically tested teacher behaviors has been organized foremost to promote learner autonomy, which naturally assists in supporting the satisfactions of competence and relatedness. Such an approach to teaching has been shown to predict many important student outcomes (Patall, 2019), such as engagement (Jang et al., 2010), autonomous motivation (Levesque et al., 2004), achievement, and decreased anxiety (Black & Deci, 2000). ...
... Educators who are supportive of students' basic psychological needs "first and foremost consider their students' frame of reference in designing and motivating learning tasks" and "minimize the sense of coercion, evaluative pressure, and control, and they maximize a sense of choice and volitional engagement" (Ryan & Deci, 2013, p. 199). Autonomy supportive teaching practices remain the most studied because the consistent action of taking into account students' perspectives naturally elicits feelings of care and connectedness (relatedness) as well as confidence, capability, and effectance (competence; Reeve, 2016). ...
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Self-determination theory (SDT) provides a cross-cultural, empirical framework for exploring what world (i.e., "foreign") language educators can do to support the satisfaction of their learners' basic psychological needs and, in turn, their autonomous motivation and well-being. Despite this, the identification of approaches to world language pedagogy and curriculum development that are supportive of learners' simultaneous and interdependent-rather than individual and isolated-basic needs satisfaction has been limited. To this end, this study sought to examine the characteristics of postsecondary world language learning environments that were supportive of the balanced, simultaneous satisfactions of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, as well as beneficence, a candidate need. Participants in the study included thirteen undergraduate world language learners at a large public university in the United States. Semi-structured interviews were analyzed through a qualitative approach involving multiple rounds of deductive coding and two stages of inductive thematic analysis. Results of the analysis identified six themes representing the characteristics of world language learning environments that students perceived to support their autonomy, competence, relatedness, and beneficence. Further, the analysis identified textual evidence for the interdependent satisfaction of students' basic psychological needs via the multidirectional influences of each need on the others. Recommendations for world language teachers and implications for theory and methodology are discussed.
... Like a snowflake, each learner is unique, and thus they 1 bring their individual motivations with them into the mathematics classroom. Although motivating students to study mathematics is a matter of much debate, teachers may find it overwhelming due to their busy workloads (Reeve, 2016). Therefore, it is sometimes necessary for teachers to apply pressure to students to ensure they complete their work-regardless of whether the student is interested in the topic for its own sake, finds no personal importance in it, or is even bored by it (Reeve, 2016;Vansteenkiste et al., 2018). ...
... Although motivating students to study mathematics is a matter of much debate, teachers may find it overwhelming due to their busy workloads (Reeve, 2016). Therefore, it is sometimes necessary for teachers to apply pressure to students to ensure they complete their work-regardless of whether the student is interested in the topic for its own sake, finds no personal importance in it, or is even bored by it (Reeve, 2016;Vansteenkiste et al., 2018). This appears to teachers to be a necessary strategy if they are to meet the requirements of the mathematics curriculum and handle the increasing amount of responsibilities they hold in that classroom, in the face of a lack of resources. ...
... Referring to classroom conditions, Assor et al. (2002, p. 272) stressed that certain teacher behaviours in elementary schools-"fostering relevance" as well as "suppressing criticism" and making an effort to comprehend their students' subjective values and learning-can support learners' experiences of autonomy in the classroom. In this line, Reeve (2016) underscored the importance of the teacher-student relationship, and Haerens et al. (2016) emphasized the avoidance of controlling teaching styles (e.g., controlling communicative approaches) in order to foster an autonomy-supportive learning environment in the classroom. Controlling teaching (Haerens et al., 2016;Reeve & Cheon, 2021) can be differentiated into externally controlling ways of controlling learners' behaviour (e.g., using language that pressures the student, such as "You have to!") and internally controlling ways, such as psychological control (e.g., expressing disappointment, triggering shame and a sense of guilt). ...
... Need satisfaction develops in social environments that support the three needs and SDT suggests that teachers' support for autonomy is the best predictor of students' needs satisfaction at school (Reeve, 2016;Reeve & Cheon, 2021). Teachers support students' autonomy when they take the student's point of view, vitalize inner motivational resources, explain the reasons underlying their requests, acknowledge and accept students' expressions of negative affect, use informational, non pressuring language and display patience. ...
Conference Paper
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... Students could be offered more encouragement to develop their self-directed learning skills and be given more support if they need it as they go along. One approach that may be useful to consider is autonomy-supported learning (Reeve, 2016), a pedagogical approach based on Ryan and Deci's self-determination theory (e.g., Ryan & Deci, 2000), which aims to develop autonomous learning in students. It has been shown to foster motivation in students within computer science teaching in schools (Reynolds & Leeder, 2017), and there is some evidence of its value within higher education (McLachlan & Hagger, 2010). ...
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The under-representation of w omen in computer science education courses is well documented, and the social and commercial need to address this is widely recog-nised. Previous literature offers some explanation for this gender imbalance, but there has been limited qualitative data to provide an in-depth understanding of existing quantitative findings. This study explores the lived experiences of female computer science students and how they experience the male dominated learning environment. Female computer science students from eight universities were interviewed (n = 23) and data were analysed using template analysis. Whilst these women have not been troubled by their sense of fit at university, a combination of stereotypical assumptions of male superiority in this field, and a masculine, agen-tic learning environment, has left them feeling less technologically capable and less motivated. The findings are discussed in terms of Cheryan et al.'s tripartite model for women's participation in STEM (2017) and we recommend that computer science departments should consider feminist pedagogy to ensure that all learners can be well supported.
... These findings in part validate the claim that in order to be fully engaged in an undertaking, one's basic needs for belonging and competence must be satisfied. Of course, the lack of a measure of autonomy-the third basic human need identified in self-determination theory-limits the extent to which this study can fully validate the theory; however, because autonomy-support is often operationalized as choice and voice (Fredricks et al., 2019;Reeve, 2016), our inclusion of a measure of student voice may stand as a proxy for autonomy, thereby validating the general claims of self-determination theory. ...
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Drawing on student self-report survey data, this study examines student engagement across 67 urban high schools in the School District of Philadelphia. Results show that schools with higher rates of affective, behavioral, and cognitive engagement differ significantly from schools with other engagement profiles in students' average reports of teacher care and student voice. Path analyses lend support for self-determination theory and corroborate qualitative research that observes that student voice can improve student engagement. By highlighting the roles of teacher care and feelings of competence and belonging, this study identifies key means by which student voice influences student engagement. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11256-022-00637-2.
... Autonomy-supportive interpersonal behaviors include verbal and non-verbal behaviors that support other people's choices, provide a rationale for rules, acknowledge others' perspectives, and allow others to take initiative (for a detailed review see Reeve, 2016). Alternatively, controlling behaviors are defined as verbal or non-verbal behaviors that pressure others to behave in certain ways, impose views or feelings, ignore others' interests or perspectives, or use excessive personal control (e.g., Bartholomew et al., 2009). ...
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The course syllabus serves as an important first contact between professors and students in university courses and the language used in a syllabus can influence students’ first impressions of the professor and expectations for the course. Existing research in Self-Determination Theory has shown that autonomy-supportive language leads to increased positive outcomes for students compared to controlling language. The objective of the present studies was to compare an autonomy-supportive with a controlling syllabus to see how students felt when reading the syllabus (Study 1), and how the syllabus related to their impressions of the professor, reported motivation, and expectations for the course (Study 2). The results of Study 1 supported that the students reported more positive feelings when viewing the autonomy-supportive syllabus and perceived the autonomy-supportive syllabus was more autonomous and the controlling one was more controlling. In Study 2, the results showed that students who viewed the autonomy-supportive syllabus reported more positive impressions of the professor (more need-supportive, better quality), were more likely to have positive expectations about the course, and more likely to have a self-determined motivation towards attending class compared to students who viewed the controlling syllabus. Overall, the results from both studies supported that there are benefits to using autonomy-supportive language in a syllabus with few side effects. Professors could benefit by making a good first impression upon students by integrating autonomy-supportive language into their syllabus.
... Accumulating evidence has proven the capability of teaching practices to boost students' potential in a wide variety of life domains (Bartholomew et al., 2018;Blazar & Kraft, 2017;Breeman et al., 2015;Codina, Valenzuela, Pestana, & Gonzalez-Conde, 2018;Collie, Granziera, & Martin, 2019;Lazarides, Gaspard, & Dicke, 2019). Among these practices, need-supportive teaching has been established as a key factor related to several student outcomes, such as motivation, engagement, and adjustment (Deci, Ryan, Vallerand, & Pelletier, 1991;Haerens et al., 2018;Jang et al., 2010Jang et al., , 2016Reeve, 2009Reeve, , 2016Vansteenkiste, Zhou, Lens, & Soenens, 2005). Some examples of these behaviours include offering choice, providing informative support/feedback, and showing care and attention to students' concerns, among others (Reeve, 2009). ...
Article
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The aim of the present study was to examine the predictive relation between teachers' motivational appeals (i.e., messages that appeal to a certain kind of motivation) and students' basic psychological need profiles and how the different profiles relate with students' well-being and grit. A total of 655 secondary students participated in the study. To determine the number of profiles a person-centered approach was followed. Results of the latent profile analysis revealed four profiles regarding student's need experiences: thwarted, fulfilled, low fulfilment and neutral profiles. Students whose teacher relied on autonomous motivational appeals were more likely to belong to the most adaptive profile (i.e., fulfilled), whereas students whose teacher relied on amotivational appeals were more likely to belong to the most non-adaptive profile (i.e., thwarted). Moreover, students belonging to the adaptive profiles reported higher levels of well-being and grit. The present findings highlight a resource for teachers to satisfy students' needs, well-being, and grit.
Thesis
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This study researched how different sequences of two types of cooperative learning (CL), informal (e.g. tasks) and formal (e.g. projects), affect Japanese first-year university EFL students’ motivation and basic psychological need (BPN) satisfaction. Research questions (RQs) for this study are as follows. RQ1. How does student motivation change over an academic year in different sequential arrangements of informal and formal CL? RQ2. How do students’ basic psychological needs change over an academic year in different sequential arrangements of informal and formal CL? The results suggest that informal followed by formal CL activities appear to make students focus on important aspects of working cooperatively in groups and positively affect their motivation and feelings toward BPNs. Formal CL followed by informal CL seems to positively affect identified regulation and competence over the year. It also appears to make some students focus on their English skills more than on their interpersonal connections.
Article
Self-determination theory (SDT) posits that need-supportive teaching, which includes support for autonomy, competence, and relatedness facilitates motivation and achievement across cultures. However, prior evidence of SDT's cross-cultural generalizability were drawn from a limited set of cultural contexts. Furthermore, prior work has mainly focused on autonomy-support. This study used data from the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (N = 578,168). Countries were grouped following Schwartz’ (2009) eight cultural clusters. Results found that need-supportive teaching predicted achievement via intrinsic motivation across the eight cultural groups. However, the magnitude of the associations among the variables varied across cultures. Findings also indicated a positive association between need-supportive teaching and achievement in six out of the eight cultural groups. However, a different pattern was observed in East-Central Europe (non-significant association) and Africa and the Middle East (negative association). This study offers broad, though not unanimous, support for SDT's cultural generalizability.
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We tested the educational utility of “teaching in students' preferred ways” as a new autonomy-supportive way of teaching to enhance students' autonomy and conceptual learning. A pilot test first differentiated preferred versus nonpreferred ways of teaching. In the main study, a hired teacher who was blind to the purpose of the study taught 63 college-age participants in small groups the same 48-minute lesson in one of these two different ways, and we assessed participants' perceived autonomy support, autonomy-need satisfaction, engagement (self-report and rater scored), and conceptual learning (self-report and rater scored). Multilevel analyses showed that participants randomly assigned to receive a preferred way of teaching perceived the teacher as more autonomy supportive and showed significantly greater autonomy-need satisfaction, engagement, and conceptual learning. Mediation analyses using multilevel modeling for clustered data showed that this way of teaching enhanced conceptual learning because it first increased students' autonomy. We conclude that “teaching in students' preferred ways” represents a way of teaching that increases students' autonomy, engagement, and conceptual learning.
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PurposeOur ongoing program of research works with teachers to help them become more autonomy supportive during instruction and hence more able to promote students’ classroom motivation and engagement. Design/methodology/approachWe have published five experimentally based, longitudinally designed, teacher-focused intervention studies that have tested the effectiveness and educational benefits of an autonomy-supportive intervention program (ASIP). FindingsFindings show that (1) teachers can learn how to become more autonomy supportive and less controlling toward students, (2) students of the teachers who participate in ASIP report greater psychological need satisfaction and lesser need frustration, (3) these same students report and behaviorally display a wide range of important educational benefits, such as greater classroom engagement, (4) teachers benefit as much from giving autonomy support as their students do from receiving it as teachers show large postintervention gains in outcomes such as teaching efficacy and job satisfaction, and (5) these ASIP-induced benefits are long lasting as teachers use the ASIP experience as a professional developmental opportunity to upgrade the quality of their motivating style. Originality/valueOur ASIP helps teachers learn how to better support their students’ autonomy during instruction. The value of this teaching skill can be seen in teachers’ and students’ enhanced classroom experience and functioning.
Book
I: Background.- 1. An Introduction.- 2. Conceptualizations of Intrinsic Motivation and Self-Determination.- II: Self-Determination Theory.- 3. Cognitive Evaluation Theory: Perceived Causality and Perceived Competence.- 4. Cognitive Evaluation Theory: Interpersonal Communication and Intrapersonal Regulation.- 5. Toward an Organismic Integration Theory: Motivation and Development.- 6. Causality Orientations Theory: Personality Influences on Motivation.- III: Alternative Approaches.- 7. Operant and Attributional Theories.- 8. Information-Processing Theories.- IV: Applications and Implications.- 9. Education.- 10. Psychotherapy.- 11. Work.- 12. Sports.- References.- Author Index.
Article
Two studies tested self-determination theory with 2nd-year medical students in an interviewing course. Study 1 revealed that (a) individuals with a more autonomous orientation on the General Causality Orientations Scale had higher psychosocial beliefs at the beginning of the course and reported more autonomous reasons for participating in the course, and (b) students who perceived their instructors as more autonomy-supportive became more autonomous in their learning during the 6-month course. Study 2, a 30-month longitudinal study, revealed that students who perceived their instructors as more autonomy-supportive became more autonomous in their learning, which in turn accounted for a significant increase in both perceived competence and psychosocial beliefs over the 20-week period of the course, more autonomy support when interviewing a simulated patient 6 months later, and stronger psychosocial beliefs 2 years later.
Article
The institutionalization of education in the modern era removed the processes of learning and cultural transmission from contexts in which children were often guided by adults to whom they were closely attached and from activities of significance in everyday life. Despite the arbitrary nature of modern classroom structures, it is argued that some of the fundamental needs that energized learning prior to compulsory schooling still have relevance within the classroom. The fundamental needs for autonomy and relatedness are highlighted and suggested to be strongly influenced by the quality of interpersonal conditions at home and in school. Several recent studies are reviewed that examine the effects of autonomy support and quality of relatedness with respect to motivational orientations and learning outcomes. It is concluded that the success of cognitive agendas in educational settings is dependent upon affective processes within the classroom and that the creation of an optimal classroom climate serves both learning and developmental goals.