Publication Details

Perlman, D. (2013). Manipulation of the self-determined learning environment on student motivation and affect within secondary physical education. The Physical Educator, 70 (4), 413-428.


Secondary physical education (PE) has become a popular area of inquiry because students are not meeting overarching goals of PE programs, are less motivated, and demonstrate negative affect while in class. As such, teachers and researchers are starting to examine pedagogical approaches that support student motivation as a means to alleviate some of the aforementioned issues. The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of two different learning contexts based within self-determination theory on the motivation and affect of secondary PE students. Seventy-nine secondary PE students were randomly assigned to a unit of basketball taught in either a highly autonomy-supportive or highly controlling learning environment. Data were collected using a pre-post test design measuring psychosocial needs, motivation, and enjoyment. Analysis of data used repeated measures ANOVAs on all dependent variables with follow-up pairwise comparisons on all significant ANOVAs. Analysis of data indicated that engagement in a highly autonomy-supportive learning context significantly changes secondary PE students overall motivation, need for competence, and enjoyment.