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Teachers’ autonomy support, autonomy suppression and conditional negative regard as predictors of optimal learning experience among high-achieving Bedouin students

Abstract

The study is based on self-determination theory and focuses on the motivation of high-achieving Bedouin students who belong to a hierarchical-collectivist society. The study focuses on the question: What are the relations between teachers’ autonomy support and control and an optimal learning experience among students? The study is unique in its population and in the distinction it draws between two types of teachers’ control: autonomy suppression (explicit control), and conditional negative regard, a phenomenon examined for the first time in teachers (implicit psychological control). The study population consisted of 144 students from seven high schools (74% girls) who completed questionnaires at two time-points. Structural equation modeling analysis indicated that perceived need satisfaction was positively predicted by teachers’ autonomy support, and negatively predicted by teachers’ conditional negative regard, while perception of a teacher as autonomy suppressive contributed directly and negatively to autonomous motivation. In turn psychological need satisfaction positively predicted autonomous motivation in learning that in turn predicted positive emotions and engagement in learning. The hypothesized mediation model has a good fit with the data. The findings have implications concerning the optimal conditions for learning among Bedouin students in general and high-achieving students in particular, and concerning the importance of autonomy-supportive teaching and refraining from control, explicit and implicit alike.

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Correspondence to Haya Kaplan.

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Kaplan, H. Teachers’ autonomy support, autonomy suppression and conditional negative regard as predictors of optimal learning experience among high-achieving Bedouin students. Soc Psychol Educ 21, 223–255 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-017-9405-y

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-017-9405-y

Keywords

  • Self-determination theory (SDT)
  • Autonomy support
  • Autonomy suppression
  • Conditional negative regard
  • Collectivist society
  • High-achieving students