Publication Details

Perlman, D. J. & Pearson, P. (2012). A comparative analysis between primary and secondary teachers: A self-determination perspective. The Shield: research journal of physical education and sports science, 7 (2012), 8-17.


The importance of student motivation within a student's educational career can be viewed as a cornerstone to effective pedagogy and student learning. Xiang, Lee and Shen (2001) have indicated that as student's progress throughout the K-12 system, their level of motivation tends to decrease. As such, a question of intrigue is whether teachers within different grade levels provide different motivational instruction. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the differences between primary and secondary educators ability to provide a motivationally-supportive learning context. Grounded within the self-determination theory (SDT; Deci & Ryan, 1985), this study utilized a quantitative approach to examine grade level differences in instruction and student motivation. Data were analyzed using a one-way MANOVA of teacher perceptions and two one-way ANOVA's of student scores. Results indicated a significant difference between primary and secondary teaching and student motivation.