No aspect of structure should be left behind inrelation to student autonomous motivation
British Journal of Educational Psychology
John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
1086 - 1108
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Background.Provision of structure in classroom settings constitutes one of the pillarsof conducive learning environments. However, little is known whether the particularelements of provided structure—namely, contingency, clear expectations, help andsupport, and monitoring—are equally important for student learning and motivation. Aims.In this cross-sectional study, we aimed to investigate to what extent students’autonomous motivation is linearly and curvilinearly related to their perceptions of theirteachers’ contingency, clear expectations, help and support, and monitoring. Sample.Participants were 12,036Turkish adolescent students (age range: 15–19 years;54.4% males) from 446 classes, nested into 24 public schools. Methods.Cross-sectional, based on student ratings of their self-determined motivationand their teacher structure provision and autonomy support. Results.Multilevel and ordinary least-squares polynomial regression analyses showedall the four perceived structure elements to predict autonomous motivation, withexpectations and contingency (especially when coupled with monitoring) being evenmore important predictors than the other elements. Response surface analyses alsoshowed strong positive relation between autonomous motivation and all the possiblepairs of the four elements of perceived structure along the line of congruence, suggestingan additive effect when teachers are thought to be contingent and helpful and supportive(or monitor their students, or clearly communicate their expectations).Conclusions.These findings imply the key role that teachers could play in enhancingtheir students’ autonomous motivation by providing all the elements of structure.