Relations between teachers' motivation and students' motivation: A self-determination theory perspective

Inok Ahn, Purdue University


There is little research that examines impact teachers' motivation on students' motivation due to sparse attention to teachers' motivation. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the relations between teachers' motivation and students' motivation using self-determination theory. Participants were 697 5th and 6th students and 35 of their teachers in Seoul, South Korea. Students completed the questionnaires for motivation, basic psychological needs, and perceptions of teacher's instructional styles. Teachers also answered questionnaires about their own motivation. Multiple regression analyses were used to analyze the data. Teaching experience was controlled for throughout the analysis process due to its significant correlations with other variables. The results showed that teacher autonomous motivation was related positively to student autonomous motivation and negatively to student controlled motivation and student amotivation. Student-perceived teacher autonomy support mediated the association between teacher autonomous motivation and student controlled motivation. Student-perceived teacher structure also mediated the associations between teacher autonomous motivation and 1) student autonomous motivation, and 2) student amotivation. Students' satisfaction of their autonomy also mediated the relations between teacher autonomous motivation and student motivation. The findings revealed the importance of promoting teacher autonomous motivation and providing autonomy support and structure in order to facilitate students' autonomous motivation.




Patrick, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Educational evaluation|Middle School education|Social psychology|Elementary education|Educational psychology

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