autonomy supportThe relationship between teacher’s autonomy support and students’ autonomy and vitality

Núñez et al. (2014) 

Abstract: What makes a student feel vital and energetic? Using the self-determination framework, we analyzed how the behavior and feelings of students depend on social factors such as the teachers’ attitudes. The goal of the study was to test an integrated sequence over a semester in which teacher’s autonomy support acts as a predictor of autonomy, which, in turn, predicts changes in vitality. Data were collected at three time points from 216 university students who completed the instruments during a semester. Using structural equation modeling, we obtained evidence for the hypothesized model. Implications and future perspectives are discussed. This study suggests that if teachers promote choice, minimize pressure to perform tasks in a certain way, and encourage initiative, in contrast to a controlling environment, characterized by deadlines, external rewards, or potential punishments, they will provide students with interesting experiences that are full of excitement and positive energy.

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