The relationship among teachers’ instructional behaviors, student motivation and student engagement : an observational study
Bulut, Gökçe Bala
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This study investigated the relationship among teachers’ need supportive instructional behaviors (i.e., autonomy support and provision of structure), student motivation (achievement goals and autonomous or controlling underlying reasons) and engagement. The investigation included the assessment of all these three aspects in a specific class session. Teachers’ need supportive instructional behaviors were assessed by both external observers and students’ self-reports. Student motivation and engagement were assessed by students’ self-reports. The participants (N = 310) were from a public Anatolian high school in Ankara, Turkey. The observations were carried out by two observers in 10 different classes. Regression analyses showed that autonomy support and provision of structure were positive predictors of mastery-approach (MAp) goals and autonomous reasons underlying these goals whereas performance-approach (PAp) goals and underlying reasons were not found to be related to teachers’ need supportive teaching. MAp goals were predictors of all four aspects of student engagement (behavioral, emotional, agentic, cognitive) and overall engagement, while autonomous reasons underlying MAp goals were positive predictors of emotional and cognitive engagement as well as of the overall engagement. PAp goals were predictors only for behavioral and cognitive engagement, while their underlying reasons did not predict engagement. A positive relation between need supportive teaching and student engagement (all aspects, excluding agentic engagement) was found. Furthermore, bootstrap analyses showed that MAp goals and autonomous reasons underlying MAp goals acted as a mediating mechanism between need supportive teaching and student engagement. Finally, the results revealed some degree of difference in students’ and observers’ perception of need supportive teaching; the majority of the students overestimated their teachers’ autonomy support and provision of structure. However, as the MANOVA indicated, students in high need supportive classrooms (according to the observers’ grouping) reported higher perception of autonomy support, provision of structure, MAp goals and their autonomous underlying reasons and engagement compared to students in average and low need supportive classrooms. Teachers’ autonomy support and provision of structure revealed important instructional approaches for students’ quality of motivation and engagement.
Provision Of Structure