An observational study of the relationship of teachers’ instructional behavior and student engagement
This study investigated the relationship between teachers’ need supportive instructional behaviors (i.e., relatedness support and provision of structure) and different types of student engagement (i.e., behavioral, emotional, cognitive and agentic engagement) from the perspective of self-determination theory. To this end, during a specific lesson teachers’ provision of structure, relatedness support and student engagement were assessed by both self-reports and observations. The participants (N=191) came from one public and one private high school in Ankara, Turkey in 10 different classes. Regression analyses revealed that both provision of structure and relatedness support can be both predicted by behavioral, emotional, agentic and overall engagement with some gender differences. The results show that the joint effects of provision of structure and relatedness support predict more engaged classrooms. Also, frequency analysis results revealed some degree of difference in students’ and observers’ perceptions of need supportive teaching. Students overestimated their teacher’s provision of structure and relatedness support. Finally, the results revealed some degree of difference in students’ and observers’ perception of student engagement. Frequency Analysis revealed that the students are more in line with their teacher than observers regarding their own engagement. However, the students also overestimated their own engagement compared to their teachers suggesting that the teachers need to put more effort in commonly agreeing with their students the needed and actual quality of engagement.