Empowering and disempowering climates in physical education: measurement, associated outcomes and intervention effects

Milton, Daniel (2023). Empowering and disempowering climates in physical education: measurement, associated outcomes and intervention effects. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The research comprising this thesis is based on an integrated framework that pulls from both Achievement Goal Theory (AGT; Nicholls, 1989) and Self-Determination Theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 2000) in considering relevant features of the motivational climate and their implications (Duda, 2013). Duda (2013, Duda & Appleton, 2016) conceptualises an ‘empowering’ motivational climate as one that is more task-involving, autonomy-supportive and socially-supportive. A ‘disempowering’ motivational climate is ego-involving and controlling.

Numerous studies have assessed and examined the correlates of the perceived motivational teaching environment from AGT or SDT perspectives. This thesis (Chapter 1) describes how a measure of perceptions of the empowering and disempowering features of the motivational climate (i.e., the EDMCQ-PE) was adapted and validated in the context of secondary physical education (PE). Prior to this research, there has not been an assessment tool which measures the motivational environment created by PE teachers using Duda's integrated conceptualisation.

In Chapter 3, the EDMCQ-PE is used to examine, both cross-sectionally and longitudinally, the relationships between pupils’ perceptions of the empowering and disempowering features of the motivational climate to their motivation and associated outcomes. It was found that a PE teacher created environment that was deemed to be more empowering predicted increases in enjoyment and concentration via autonomous motivation. Perceptions of disempowering motivational climates in PE corresponded to increases in boredom via controlled motivation.

The next step was to intervene with the aim of optimising the motivational climate operating in secondary school PE. The Empowering PE™ training was delivered to members of a PE Department at one school. Aiming to address criticism and limitations of ‘one-off’ workshop deliveries, efforts were made to further develop and embed more empowering PE strategies over time via an extended intervention that incorporated principles of communities of practise (Chapter 4). Finally, Chapter 5 examined the impact of the school-based Empowering PE™ workshop and subsequent associated professional development programme using community of practice principles on 1) PE teachers’ understanding of motivation and optimal and dysfunctional motivational strategies, and reported motivational strategies employed, (2) Senior Leadership Teams (SLT) perceptions of the PE teachers understanding, engagement and impact of the PDP, and (3) quality of pupils’ motivation and indicators of engagement within physical education.

The findings of the thesis suggest that in the future, the EMCQ-PE could be used by both teachers and researchers as a validated measure of the motivational climate manifested in PE. Future work on the further development of this assessment tool, however, was recommended. Results also indicate the importance of promoting more empowering PE environments and reducing disempowering teacher behaviours. Finally, findings suggest that the motivational climate in PE classes can be optimised via targeted training and also following up educational workshops with more continuous interaction and exchange between those who have received the training (as can be achieved via supporting a professional development programme using community of practice principles).

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > L Education (General)
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/13306


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