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Eurasian Society of Educational Research
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Eurasian Society of Educational Research
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Christiaan Huygensstraat 44, Zipcode:7533XB, Enschede, THE NETHERLANDS
autonomy control teacher behavior rote learning conceptual learning knowledge achievement

Effects of Autonomy Supportive vs. Controlling Teachers’ Behavior on Students’ Achievement

Natalia Hofferber , Alexander Eckes , Matthias Wilde

Grolnick and Ryan assume that an autonomy supportive environment leads to higher learner engagement and thus to greater achievements and deeper unders.

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Grolnick and Ryan assume that an autonomy supportive environment leads to higher learner engagement and thus to greater achievements and deeper understanding of content. In school, knowledge acquisition (rote learning as well as conceptual learning) are regarded as most important. In this study, we examined the effects of teachers’ autonomy supportive vs. controlling behavior on knowledge acquisition as measured by reproduction as well as at higher cognitive levels. The sample consisted of seventh graders (N=85; M=12.85 years; SD=1.6 years). One week in advance to the teaching unit, the students were tested for prior knowledge using two knowledge tests. Test 1 used multiple-choice items to address rote learning and Test 2 used an open response format to address conceptual learning. One week after the teaching unit, the same knowledge tests were used to assess the learning outcome. Analysis of the knowledge tests suggests that the students taught in an autonomy supportive environment develop greater conceptual knowledge than those taught in a controlling environment. Rote learning was not affected.

Keywords: Autonomy, control, teacher behavior, rote learning, conceptual learning, knowledge achievement

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