How do pressure from above, mindset and motivation influence the autonomy supportive teaching style?
Presentation Self Determination Conference in Victoria BC, 2-5 June 2016. Autonomy supportive teachers provide autonomy, structure learning activities and connect with their students (Belmont, Skinner, Wellborn, & Connell, 1988). Autonomy supportive teachers increase students levels of intrinsic motivation and self-determination (Niemiec & Ryan, 2009; Núñez, Fernández, León, & Grijalvo, 2014; Reeve, 2009; Vansteenkiste, Lens, & Deci, 2006; Wolfensberger, 2012). Especially honours students – who are willing to do more than their regular programme – prefer lecturers who support their autonomy. This study explores how three factors influence a lecture’s autonomy supportive teaching style. The first factor is experienced pressure form the work environment as Pelletier et al. (2002) showed that lectures who experience a lot of pressure are less self-determining supporting and autonomy supporting towards their students. The second factor relates to intrinsic motivation as it is known that in order to support the autonomy of students, the basic needs of a lecturer to feed his / her intrinsic motivation need to be met (Pelletier, Séguin-Lévesque, & Legault, 2002; Ryan & Deci, 2000). The third factor is mindset as we know that teaching from a growth mindset creates motivation and productivity (Dweck, 2000). The hypothesis is: lecturers at Universities of Applied Sciences offer autonomy support to students in extracurricular Honours Programmes provided that they experience autonomy themselves within the organization, are intrinsically motivated, and possess a growth mindset. Honours lecturers (N = 54) of 6 Dutch Universities of Applied Sciences filled in a digital questionnaire. Correlational analysis showed a significant positive correlation between the fixed mindset and providing structure. In addition, lecturers who experienced more pressure from above provide less autonomy and less structure in their autonomy supporting teaching style. Results show the impact of pressure on teaching styles and are discussed in terms of their implications for educational policy.