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ERIC Number: EJ861785
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 55
ISSN: ISSN-1740-8989
An Examination of Physical Education Teacher Motivation from a Self-Determination Theoretical Framework
Carson, Russell L.; Chase, Melissa A.
Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy, v14 n4 p335-353 Oct 2009
Background: The motivation of physical education (PE) teachers has received precious little attention over the years. Self-determination theory (SDT) is a salient theoretical model for understanding motivation, and posits that self-determined motivation (i.e., intrinsic motivation) stems from the perceived fulfillment of three psychological needs: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Scholars of SDT also contend that individual characteristics and contextual features can facilitate the fulfillment of these three needs. Therefore, SDT provides a useful theoretical platform for studying the relevant psychological needs and personal, professional and environmental features of PE teacher motivation. Aims: The primary purpose of this study was to examine whether physical educators' perceived fulfillment of autonomy, competence, and relatedness were related to their self-determined motivation. The second purpose of this study was to explore the potential impact of various personal, professional, and environmental factors on physical educators' fulfillment of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Method: Participants were 247 PE teachers (117 females and 130 males) from the state of Ohio in the USA, ranging in age from 23 to 65 years, and representing a near equal distribution of school levels: 5-11-year-old students (n = 82); 12-15-year-old students (n = 82); and 16-18-year-old students (n = 83). A cross-sectional, survey-based study design was employed. Participants were randomly selected from the State Teacher Directory, and mailed questionnaires that reliably and accurately assessed the variables of the study. Psychometric and descriptive statistics were computed. canonical correlation analysis was employed to determine the simultaneous relationships between physical educators' perceived need fulfillment and perceived motivation. Three separate multiple regression analyses using the stepwise strategy were conducted to explore the impact of ten personal, professional, and environmental variables on PE teachers' perceived need fulfillment. Lastly, three multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) tests with a univariate follow-up and Scheffe's "post hoc" comparison technique were used to determine if teachers' perceived needs significantly differed by the personal and professional categorical variables. Results: Results indicated that physical educators' perceptions of teacher autonomy, competence, and relatedness were positively and strongly associated with self-determined motivation. Furthermore, attending conferences, reading professional journals, giving professional presentations, teaching in elementary schools, using quality equipment, and having a supportive administration positively influenced teachers' perceptions of autonomy, competence, or relatedness. Conclusion: Findings support the tenets of SDT, and also suggest that professional and environmental variables contribute to the motivation of PE teachers. These findings substantiate the motivational importance of autonomy, competence, and relatedness perceptions for PE teachers, while concurrently providing useful ways to increase PE teachers' perceptions of these important psychological needs. (Contains 5 tables and 8 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A