The voice characteristics of an autonomy-supportive and controlling teaching style
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The study investigated the voice characteristics of an autonomy-supportive and controlling teaching style. Based on the literature describing the autonomy-supportive and controlling motivating style, two texts were prepared to be used by teachers to introduce an assignment to their students. The one text included phrases that correspond to autonomy-supportive teaching (i.e., autonomy-supportive text), and the other text included phrases that correspond to controlling teaching (i.e., controlling text). Voices of eight Turkish high school teachers in Ankara were recorded while they were reading the two texts. Then, the voice recordings were analysed. A voice analysis performed through Praat software identified the external characteristics of teachers’ voice (i.e., pitch, amplitude, energy, power and speech rate) that correspond to the autonomy-supportive and controlling motivating style. The Wilcoxon-signed rank test was performed to identify differences in voice characteristics of the two different instructions. Results of the 16 recordings showed that, in 11 out of the 14 sentences, the speech rate of the controlling teaching style was faster. Contrary to my expectations, only one controlling sentence was delivered with a higher-pitched voice. The same sentence was delivered less softly, in a more forceful and “stern” way in the controlling instructions as I expected. A supplementary analysis, in which the recordings of a less expressive voice were excluded, showed more differences in the voice characteristics between the autonomy-supportive and the controlling motivating style. The findings are discussed in terms of their applications in supporting instruction as well as the teacher pre-service and in-service programs.
The energy level of the voice