Research grounded in self-determination theory has demonstrated the important role of teachers in shaping students’ physical education experiences. Utilizing a cluster-randomized controlled design, this study aimed to examine whether an interpersonally involving training program based on self-determination theory principles could enhance students’ in-class experiences. With 18 teachers (males = 8, females = 10, Mage = 32.75, SD = 8.14) and a final sample of 382 students (males = 155, females = 227, Mage = 13.20, SD = 1.66), we implemented linear mixed modeling to investigate the effects on students’ (a) perceived relatedness support and (b) enjoyment of physical education, tripartite efficacy beliefs (i.e., self-efficacy, other-efficacy, relation-inferred self-efficacy), self-determined motivation, and amotivation. Relative to those in the control condition, students in the treatment condition reported positive changes in teacher-provided relatedness support, enjoyment, other-efficacy, and peer-focused relation-inferred self-efficacy. These findings demonstrate support for strategies designed to aid physical education teachers’ relatedness-supportive instructional behaviors.
Cassandra Sparks, James Dimmock, and Ben Jackson are with the School of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia. Chris Lonsdale is with Australian Catholic University, Strathfield, New South Wales, Australia.