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Antecedents of motivating and demotivating teaching behavior and burnout in physical education teachers

(2015)
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Abstract
Given the increasing number of studies on motivation in physical education starting from the framework of Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1985b; Deci & Ryan, 2000, 2002), the first aim in this dissertation was to provide an overview of studies investigating SDT in the context of physical education, to give a summary of their main findings, and to identify research gaps to move this line of research forward. SDT is of great pedagogical value to the practice of physical education, because it explains the mechanisms behind different kinds of student motivation while it also provides an understanding of how teachers behave in a (de)motivating manner towards students. In the review, most studies provided proof for the motivational sequence of SDT, stating that autonomous motivation (this is motivation arising from personal interests, values, and from intrinsic pleasure) in students relates to adaptive outcomes such as more engagement and better performance, while controlled motivation (this is motivation arising from internal or external pressures) and amotivation (this is a lack of motivation) relate to more maladaptive outcomes such as anxiety. In line with the motivational sequence of SDT, several studies in the context of physical education revealed that the satisfaction of the three basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness in students relate to more optimal or autonomous motivation in physical education, and that these basic psychological needs are more likely to be satisfied in an optimally motivating or need-supportive environment characterized by autonomysupport, structure, and warm interactions (Deci & Ryan, 2000, 2002). Although less frequently investigated, some studies showed that the students’ needs can also be frustrated when students are exposed to a needthwarting or controlling, chaotic, and cold environment. The results from research show that need support relates to more need satisfaction, which leads to more autonomous motivation, while need-thwarting is related to more need frustration, which leads to more maladaptive outcomes such as controlled motivation and amotivation. Based on the findings in the review, it was suggested that future studies might focus on all three need-supportive dimensions simultaneously rather than on autonomy support solely. This recommendation was taken into account when setting up the studies that are presented in Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 in this dissertation. As it was also revealed that a need-thwarting environment was not yet extensively examined before, we developed an observation tool for need-thwarting teaching behavior and included these demotivating teaching behaviors in two studies the present dissertation. In the review, it was also recommended that physical education related contextual variables such as the characteristics of the teacher, the curriculum, or class and student-related factors could be analyzed in a more meaningful way in future studies. Apart from these research gaps, Aim 2 and 3 in the present dissertation largely build on the identification of one major gap in the literature, namely that previous SDTgrounded research in physical education especially focused on student motivation rather than on the antecedents or what drives teachers to be optimally motivating towards their students. For the purpose of this dissertation, we investigated antecedents from within, referring to personal characteristics of the teacher (Aim 2), and antecedents from below, referring to students’ behavior and characteristics (Aim 3). We explored how teachers’ personal characteristics (i.e., the quality of their motivation to teach and their general causality orientations) relate to teaching behavior in class in Aim 2. To do so, we took a variable-centered as well as a person-centered approach (i.e. identifying and comparing motivational profiles). The results indicated that more autonomous motivation (this is, motivation that arises from personal interests, identification with the values of the profession, and the intrinsic pleasure that comes from teaching) related to more need support towards the students, while controlled motivation (this is, motivation arising from external or internal pressures, such as the paycheck, the many school holidays, or the reputation) related to less need support. When looking at general causality orientations as an antecedent from within, we found that an autonomy orientation (referring to the perception that individuals volitionally take actions based on their own personal interests and values) was not related to observed need support or need-thwarting. Highly control-oriented teachers (who adapt their behavior to external or internal pressures, such as rewards or expectations) showed and reported less need support and more needthwarting in class than lowly control oriented teachers. Negative relationships between disengagement and need support tended to be stronger among strongly autonomy-oriented teachers. Less strongly controloriented teachers were more need-supportive towards engaged students. Next to antecedents from within, we also explored antecedents from below (Aim 3) in investigating how student (dis)engagement related to teachers’ need-supportive and need-thwarting teaching behavior. We did this by first examining the association between student (dis)engagement and need-supportive teaching behavior from a multilevel perspective. We concluded that in the eye of the beholder (teachers or students), there was a positive relationship between students’ engagement and teachers’ need support, while students’ disengagement related to less need support. When external observers rated student (dis)engagement and teachers’ need-supportive and need-thwarting teaching behaviors, no clear relationships between both dimensions were found. More specifically, we explored relationships between student (dis)engagement and need support or need-thwarting in five-to-five minute intervals in one physical education lesson and the findings suggested that student (dis)engagement might have a different relationship with teachers’ behaviors depending on the specific moment of the lesson. It is a must for physical education teachers to be optimally motivated and to strive for optimal mental health and well-being when being a teacher. However, compared to other professions, teachers have a relatively high risk to develop feelings of burnout (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996; Schaufeli & Enzmann, 1998). Burnout is characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and diminished personal accomplishment and is related to maladaptive outcomes in the work context (e.g., Maslach & Jackson, 1981; Schaufeli, Leiter, & Maslach, 2009). In the 2nd Aim of this dissertation, we therefore investigated the roots or antecedents of burnout in physical education teachers and found that autonomous motivation in teachers might act as a buffer in the development of burnout, while controlled motivation related to more burnout in teachers. As teachers’ way of behaving in the classroom affects students’ learning and as burnout is an problem among teachers, this dissertation explored antecedents of burnout, need-supportive, and needthwarting teaching behavior in physical education teachers. As the findings suggest that teachers’ motivation and general causality orientations relate to their need-supportive and need-thwarting teaching behavior towards students, it is suggested to organize CPD sessions that raise awareness of their quality of motivation for teaching and of their general causality orientations. Insight might be provided on how these characteristics relate to feelings of burnout or to their need-supportive or need-thwarting teaching style in class. The results further call for more experimental and more intervention studies to identify the most important pressures teachers experience in practice, so that interventions can be tailored to their specific and most important problems and needs.

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Citation

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MLA
Van den Berghe, Lynn. “Antecedents of Motivating and Demotivating Teaching Behavior and Burnout in Physical Education Teachers.” 2015 : n. pag. Print.
APA
Van den Berghe, Lynn. (2015). Antecedents of motivating and demotivating teaching behavior and burnout in physical education teachers. Ghent University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent, Belgium.
Chicago author-date
Van den Berghe, Lynn. 2015. “Antecedents of Motivating and Demotivating Teaching Behavior and Burnout in Physical Education Teachers”. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van den Berghe, Lynn. 2015. “Antecedents of Motivating and Demotivating Teaching Behavior and Burnout in Physical Education Teachers”. Ghent, Belgium: Ghent University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Vancouver
1.
Van den Berghe L. Antecedents of motivating and demotivating teaching behavior and burnout in physical education teachers. [Ghent, Belgium]: Ghent University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences; 2015.
IEEE
[1]
L. Van den Berghe, “Antecedents of motivating and demotivating teaching behavior and burnout in physical education teachers,” Ghent University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent, Belgium, 2015.
@phdthesis{5798353,
  abstract     = {Given the increasing number of studies on motivation in physical education starting from the framework of Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1985b; Deci & Ryan, 2000, 2002), the first aim in this dissertation was to provide an overview of studies investigating SDT in the context of physical education, to give a summary of their main findings, and to identify research gaps to move this line of research forward. SDT is of great pedagogical value to the practice of physical education, because it explains the mechanisms behind different kinds of student motivation while it also provides an understanding of how teachers behave in a (de)motivating manner towards students.
In the review, most studies provided proof for the motivational sequence of SDT, stating that autonomous motivation (this is motivation arising from personal interests, values, and from intrinsic pleasure) in students relates to adaptive outcomes such as more engagement and better performance, while controlled motivation (this is motivation arising from internal or external pressures) and amotivation (this is a lack of motivation) relate to more maladaptive outcomes such as anxiety. In line with the motivational sequence of SDT, several studies in the context of physical education revealed that the satisfaction of the three basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness in students relate to more optimal or autonomous motivation in physical education, and that these basic psychological needs are more likely to be satisfied in an optimally motivating or need-supportive environment characterized by autonomysupport, structure, and warm interactions (Deci & Ryan, 2000, 2002). Although less frequently investigated, some studies showed that the students’ needs can also be frustrated when students are exposed to a needthwarting or controlling, chaotic, and cold environment. The results from research show that need support relates to more need satisfaction, which leads to more autonomous motivation, while need-thwarting is related to more need frustration, which leads to more maladaptive outcomes such as controlled motivation and amotivation. Based on the findings in the review, it was suggested that future studies might focus on all three need-supportive dimensions simultaneously rather than on autonomy support solely. This recommendation was taken into account when setting up the studies that are presented in Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 in this dissertation. As it was also revealed that a need-thwarting environment was not yet extensively examined before, we developed an observation tool for need-thwarting teaching behavior and included these demotivating teaching behaviors in two studies the present dissertation.
In the review, it was also recommended that physical education related contextual variables such as the characteristics of the teacher, the curriculum, or class and student-related factors could be analyzed in a more meaningful way in future studies. Apart from these research gaps, Aim 2 and 3 in the present dissertation largely build on the identification of one major gap in the literature, namely that previous SDTgrounded research in physical education especially focused on student motivation rather than on the antecedents or what drives teachers to be optimally motivating towards their students. For the purpose of this dissertation, we investigated antecedents from within, referring to personal characteristics of the teacher (Aim 2), and antecedents from below, referring to students’ behavior and characteristics (Aim 3).
We explored how teachers’ personal characteristics (i.e., the quality of their motivation to teach and their general causality orientations) relate to teaching behavior in class in Aim 2. To do so, we took a variable-centered as well as a person-centered approach (i.e. identifying and comparing motivational profiles). The results indicated that more autonomous motivation (this is, motivation that arises from personal interests, identification with the values of the profession, and the intrinsic pleasure that comes from teaching) related to more need support towards the students, while controlled motivation (this is, motivation arising from external or internal pressures, such as the paycheck, the many school holidays, or the reputation) related to less need support. When looking at general causality orientations as an antecedent from within, we found that an autonomy orientation (referring to the perception that individuals volitionally take actions based on their own personal interests and values) was not related to observed need support or need-thwarting. Highly control-oriented teachers (who adapt their behavior to external or internal pressures, such as rewards or expectations) showed and reported less need support and more needthwarting in class than lowly control oriented teachers. Negative relationships between disengagement and need support tended to be stronger among strongly autonomy-oriented teachers. Less strongly controloriented teachers were more need-supportive towards engaged students.
Next to antecedents from within, we also explored antecedents from below (Aim 3) in investigating how student (dis)engagement related to teachers’ need-supportive and need-thwarting teaching behavior. We did this by first examining the association between student (dis)engagement and need-supportive teaching behavior from a multilevel perspective. We concluded that in the eye of the beholder (teachers or students), there was a positive relationship between students’ engagement and teachers’ need support, while students’ disengagement related to less need support. When external observers rated student (dis)engagement and teachers’ need-supportive and need-thwarting teaching behaviors, no clear relationships between both dimensions were found. More specifically, we explored relationships between student (dis)engagement and need support or need-thwarting in five-to-five minute intervals in one physical education lesson and the findings suggested that student (dis)engagement might have a different relationship with teachers’ behaviors depending on the specific moment of the lesson.
It is a must for physical education teachers to be optimally motivated and to strive for optimal mental health and well-being when being a teacher. However, compared to other professions, teachers have a relatively high risk to develop feelings of burnout (Maslach, Jackson, & Leiter, 1996; Schaufeli & Enzmann, 1998). Burnout is characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and diminished personal accomplishment and is related to maladaptive outcomes in the work context (e.g., Maslach & Jackson, 1981; Schaufeli, Leiter, & Maslach, 2009). In the 2nd Aim of this dissertation, we therefore investigated the roots or antecedents of burnout in physical education teachers and found that autonomous motivation in teachers might act as a buffer in the development of burnout, while controlled motivation related to more burnout in teachers.
As teachers’ way of behaving in the classroom affects students’ learning and as burnout is an problem among teachers, this dissertation explored antecedents of burnout, need-supportive, and needthwarting teaching behavior in physical education teachers. As the findings suggest that teachers’ motivation and general causality orientations relate to their need-supportive and need-thwarting teaching behavior towards students, it is suggested to organize CPD sessions that raise awareness of their quality of motivation for teaching and of their general causality orientations. Insight might be provided on how these characteristics relate to feelings of burnout or to their need-supportive or need-thwarting teaching style in class. The results further call for more experimental and more intervention studies to identify the most important pressures teachers experience in practice, so that interventions can be tailored to their specific and most important problems and needs.},
  author       = {Van den Berghe, Lynn},
  isbn         = {9789461972538},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {266},
  publisher    = {Ghent University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences},
  school       = {Ghent University},
  title        = {Antecedents of motivating and demotivating teaching behavior and burnout in physical education teachers},
  year         = {2015},
}