Publication Details

Perlman, DJ, Pearson, PJ, Mckeen, K & Forrest, GJ, Turning the Switch On! The Teachers’ Ability to Influence Student Motivation in Physical Education, In Dodd, G (ed), Proceedings of the 27th ACHPER International Conference, 2011, p 199-207, South Australia: ACHPER.


Student motivation is an area of importance in physical education due to the association with enhanced levels of effort, participation and aspects of learning (Tjeerdsma-Blankenship, 2008; Chen, 2001). Physical education specialists are routinely challenged by students who demonstrate behaviours indicative of low levels of motivation, such as high rates of absenteeism and severely low levels of active participation within the class setting (Ntoumanis, Peensgaard, Martin & Pipe, 2004). Bryan and Solmon (2007) indicate that the teacher is a primary driver for the development and implementation of experiences that support and/or thwart student motivation. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the influence of a motivational intervention on 27 pre-service physical education teacher’s (PTs) abilities to develop and implement motivational instruction during a practicum field experience. Motivation and related intervention within this study was grounded in achievement goal theory (AGT); whereby students are motivated when engaged in an educational context that is supportive of their perceptions of competence. Data were collected from PTs narrative lesson plans and actual teaching episodes during the practicum using a pretest/post-test design. Analysis of data utilized a two-pronged approach; content analysis of lesson plans, whilst teaching episodes were systematically observed and analyzed using the Physical Education Climate Assessment Instrument (Curtner-Smith & Todorovich, 2002). Data revealed that an AGT-based intervention could facilitate positive changes in a teacher’s ability to design and implement educational experiences that support student motivation.

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