The role of intrinsic motivation for teaching, teachers’ care and autonomy support in students’ self-determined motivation

Sonja Rita Bieg, Sabine Backes, Waldemar Mittag


Using self-determination theory as a framework, this study examined teachers' motivation and behavior as they relate to students' intrinsic motivation. A cross-sectional study with eighth grade students (N = 1,195) and their teachers (N = 48) was conducted by analyzing questionnaires given to participating teachers and students. Multilevel analyses showed that students´ individual perceptions of teachers' autonomy support and teachers' care predicted students' intrinsic motivation. Perceived autonomy support by the teacher on class level proved to be another predictor. On the other hand, intrinsic motivation for teaching in addition to teachers' reported autonomy support and care had no impact on students' intrinsic motivation. Implications for pedagogical practice are discussed, with a focus on the importance of autonomy support in a classroom setting.


Motivation for teaching; Intrinsic motivation; Teachers’ care; Autonomy support

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Copyright Waxmann 2009-2018 - Imprint
Journal for Educational Research Online/Journal für Bildungsforschung Online (ISSN 1866-6671)