Perceptions of Motivational Climate and Teachers' Strategies to Sustain Discipline as Predictors of Intrinsic Motivation in Physical Education

Article excerpt

This study examined the relationship among pupils' perceptions of the motivational climate, pupils' perceptions of teachers' strategies to maintain discipline and pupils' intrinsic motivation in physical education. A sample of 2189 Spanish adolescents, ages 13 to 17 years, completed Spanish versions of the EPCM, SSDS, and IMI. Confirmatory factor analyses were carried out to confirm the factorial validity of the scales. Then, the relationship among the variables was explored through Structural Equation Modelling . The most important predictors of pupils' intrinsic motivation were the perceived mastery climate, and perceived teachers' emphasis on intrinsic reasons to maintain discipline. Perceived performance climate and perceived teachers' strategies to maintain discipline based on introjected reasons and indifference, predicted pupils' tension-pressure. Results are discussed in the context of theoretical propositions of self-determination theory and practical issues of enhancing adolescents' motivation in physical education.

Keywords: learning environment, motivation, discipline, physical education, self-determination theory.

Se han analizado las relaciones entre las percepciones del alumnado del clima motivacional, las estrategias del profesorado para mantener la disciplina, y la motivación intrínseca en educación física. Una muestra de 2189 adolescentes españoles de 13 a 17 años, completaron versiones españolas de la EPCM, SSDS e IMI. Mediante Análisis Factoriales Confirmatorios y Modelos de Ecuaciones Estructurales se ha verificado la validez de las escalas y la relación entre variables. Los predictores más importantes de la motivación intrínseca han sido la percepción del clima de maestría y el énfasis del profesorado en razones intrínsecas para la disciplina. El clima de ejecución y las estrategias basadas en razones introyectadas e indiferentes ante la disciplina, han predicho la tensión-presión del alumnado. Se han discutido los resultados en el marco de la auto-determinación de cara a potenciar la motivación de los adolescentes en educación física.

Palabras clave: ambiente de aprendizaje, motivación, disciplina, educación física, teoría de la auto-determinación.

Currently, so many youngsters are turned off by their physical education (PE) classes, do not engage in adequate physical activity, and are risk of developing serious health conditions (obesity, diabetes, etc.). Thus, it is imperative that children and adolescents be encouraged to adopt a physically active lifestyle (Taylor & Ntoumanis, 2007).

It is generally accepted that school PE is likely to play a key role in encouraging pupils' participation in regular physical activity (Biddle & Chatzisarantis, 1999; Digelidis, Papaioannou, Laparidis, & Christodoulidis, 2003). There is evidence that PE can involve people in daily physical activities and fosters healthy lifestyles (Digelidis et al., 2003; Haywood, 1991; Sallis & McKenzie, 1991), and that students who feel motivated toward physical activity in PE are more likely to participate in physical activities in their leisure time (Biddle & Chatzisarantis, 1999; McKenzie, 2003; Portman, 2003). Because of this, enhancing adolescents' motivation is an important objective in contemporary physical education as adaptive motivation has been linked to exercise participation outside of school (Theodosiou & Papaioannou, 2006) and to prepare children for a lifetime physical activity (Bryan & Solmon, 2007; Standage, Duda, & Ntoumanis, 2003).

Although most pupils are intrinsically motivated to participate in PE lessons, there are many children who are extrinsically motivated or lack motivation to participate (Ntoumanis, 2001, 2005). Interest and participation in PE gradually declines with age (Digelidis & Papaioannou, 1999; Hassandra, Goudas, & Chroni, 2003; Koka & Hein, 2003; Midgley, Kaplan, & Middleton, 2001; Mitchell, 1996). Thus, examining pupils' motivation for participation in PE is important for gaining information on the determinants of physical activity in young people. …