PE Teachers’ perspective on a motivational climate professional development session

E. Whitney G. Moore, University of Kansas, USA
Mary Fry, University of Kansas, USA

Theme: Teaching sport and exercise psychology

Poster Number: 69

Program ID: POS-1

Presentation: October 3, 2013 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Room: Napoleon


Achievement Goal Theory (AGT) grounded interventions with PE students have shown that the motivational climate teachers cultivate influences students’ motivational responses, including goal orientations and effort (Weigand & Burton, 2002; Todorovich & Curtner-Smith, 2002; Christodoulidis, Papaioannou, & Digelidis, 2001). The motivational climate experienced by students in these studies is often experimenter created. Research on interventions with current teachers to enhance their ability to foster a task-involving motivational climate has rarely been published. Short-term professional development sessions designed to help current professionals enhance their caring and task-involving climate characteristics, while minimizing their ego-involving climate characteristics, can be challenging. The purpose of this presentation is to share lessons learned from conducting a professional development session for a school district’s current PE teachers. The district’s Fall 2012 pre-service sessions included a 3-hour motivational climate session for the PE staff. First, the PE teachers were presented with a summary of their students’ perceptions of the climate, effort, and enjoyment from the previous school year. Next, an interactive activity focused on the PE teachers reflecting back on the motivational climates they had experienced as students/athletes, and their responses to those climates. This activity led to a discussion of AGT and related research findings. The last segment of the professional development session focused on specific behaviors and approaches that could be implemented to increase the students’ perceptions of a caring and task-involving climate. The teachers’ provided feedback at the completion of this three-hour session, and again after the Fall 2012 semester. Their feedback revealed four themes relating to their ability to foster a caring and task-involving climate: 1) what they found most beneficial about the session, 2) their confidence levels, 3) barriers they faced, and 4) successful moments. Suggestions for aiding professional teachers in creating more caring/task-involving climates will be provided.

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