The effects of an experimental programme to support students’ autonomy on the overt behaviours of physical education teachers

  • Damien Tessier
  • Philippe Sarrazin
  • Nikos Ntoumanis
Article

Abstract

Although the benefits of autonomy supportive behaviours are now well established in the literature, very few studies have attempted to train teachers to offer a greater autonomy support to their students. In fact, none of these studies has been carried out in physical education (PE). The purpose of this study is to test the effects of an autonomy-supportive training on overt behaviours of teaching among PE teachers. The experimental group included two PE teachers who were first educated on the benefits of an autonomy supportive style and then followed an individualised guidance programme during the 8 lessons of a teaching cycle. Their behaviours were observed and rated along 3 categories (i.e., autonomy supportive, neutral and controlling) and were subsequently compared to those of three teachers who formed the control condition. The results showed that teachers in the experimental group used more autonomy supportive and neutral behaviours than those in the control group, but no difference emerged in relation to controlling behaviours. We discuss the implications for schools of our findings.

Key words

Autonomy support Controlling behaviours Motivation Motivational climate Physical education Self-determination Teaching style 

Résumé

Si les bienfaits des comportements soutenant l’autonomie sont désormais clairement identifiés dans la littérature, peu de travaux ont tenté de modifier le style des enseignants dans le sens d’un meilleur soutien de l’autonomie des élèves, et aucun ne s’est intéressé au domaine de l’éducation physique (EP). L’objectif de cette étude était de tester l’intérêt d’un programme de formation visant à sensibiliser les enseignants d’EP aux bienfaits d’un style soutenant l’autonomie. Deux enseignants formant le groupe expérimental ont d’abord été sensibilisés à ce style d’enseignement, puis ont bénéficié d’un suivi individualisé pendant la durée d’un cycle d’enseignement de 8 leçons. Au cours de celui-ci, leurs comportements ont été observés et codés en 3 catégories (i.e., soutenant l’autonomie, neutres et contrôlants) afin d’être comparés à ceux de 3 enseignants témoins. Les résultats montrent que les enseignants du groupe expérimental ont utilisé davantage de comportements soutenant l’autonomie et neutres que leurs collègues du groupe témoin, mais qu’aucune différence significative n’est apparue concernant les comportements contrôlants. La discussion se focalise sur l’interprétation et les implications scolaires de ces résultats.

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Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisbon, Portugal/ Springer Netherlands 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Damien Tessier
    • 1
  • Philippe Sarrazin
    • 1
  • Nikos Ntoumanis
    • 2
  1. 1.University of GrenobleFrance
  2. 2.School of Sport and Exercise SciencesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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