The purpose of this study was to review the literature relevant to learning in physical education (PE) according to the self-determination theory (SDT). In this literature review, we first provide an overview of SDT. Second, we discuss students’ SDT-related motivational profiles in PE. Third, we illustrate the relationships among students’ perceptions of the nature of an autonomy-supportive or controlling learning environment, need satisfaction, and self-determined motivation. Fourth, we explore the impact of SDT on students’ learning in PE with respect to the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective learning domains. Finally, we articulate the pedagogical implications on the basis of the reviewed SDT research and future directions for SDT research in PE.
Sun is with the Department of Teaching and Learning, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL. Li is with the Department of Human Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH. Shen is with the Division of Kinesiology, Health, and Sport Studies, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI.
Address author correspondence to Haichun Sun at firstname.lastname@example.org.