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Exploring the Dimensions of Autonomy Supportive Teachers and Their Influence on ESL Classroom Engagement and Help Seeking Behaviours

Rajaletchumi, Thaliah (2009) Exploring the Dimensions of Autonomy Supportive Teachers and Their Influence on ESL Classroom Engagement and Help Seeking Behaviours. PhD. thesis, Universiti Utara Malaysia.

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The purpose of this mixed method study is to explore and measure the prevalence of ESL teachers support on student's autonomy during their learning process within a self-determination theory framework. Since there are controversy and doubt about the universality of autonomy needs in different social background, how students perceive their teacher's autonomy support in the local context was explored. In order to better conceptualize the construct of teacher autonomy support in the local setting, qualitative method was employed to understand the phenomena. Seventy students were involved in the focus group discussion to elicit information about students experience in learning English. Data from six focus group interviews indicated four types of autonomy support motivating styles. These four dimensions are viewed as autonomy supportive where they contribute to the attainment of student's interest in learning. All the four autonomy support motivating styles have some similarity and differences with previous findings. Focus group findings indicated that while students appeared motivated to be engaged, they do experience barriers in learning through teachers who are more controlling and a classroom which is not optimally conducive. The qualitative findings then guide the development of items and scales for a quantitative survey instrument. The newly developed Teacher Autonomy Support Scale and its psychometric properties enable the examination of relationships with classroom engagement and help seeking behaviors. The tenability of the scale was further corroborated by looking at the relationship with all the proposed variables using structural equation model. The study also adopted self-determination theory's basic
psychological needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness as mediators. The direct and indirect effects of these needs were examined as mediation analyses. 378 samples from Form 4 students were selected from multistage cluster sampling from 14 day schools in the state of Perlis. The data was analyzed using SPSS version 14.0 and AMOS 14.0 (Structural Equation Modeling). Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses supported a four factor structure representing autonomy supportive constructs which were teachers who are being responsible, approachable, conveys confidence and shows respect towards their students.
The four factor structure demonstrated acceptable validity and internal consistency for the newly developed teacher autonomy support scale. Teachers who are being responsible
or accountable in their profession were identified as nurturing and building student's motivation in the local context which was not identified in previous studies.
Good fitting results from the model provided support for the proposed model. The universality of the motivational constructs of autonomy is not doubted but the way our
student's perceived autonomy support somewhat different from other social contexts where they perceive teachers who are responsible in their profession as autonomy supportive in order for them to take charge of their own learning. All the direct effect shows significant positive relationship to psychological needs. Perceived competence's magnitude was found the lowest. In turn, the indirect analysis of perceived competence was the highest and has doubled the value from the direct effect, indicating students need
to internalise that they are competent enough to master the language. If they do not perceive themselves as competent they will not be engaged and seek help in acquiring the
language. The findings suggest that teachers should be more autonomy supportive to make students perceive themselves as competent which thus, create autonomous learners. The utility of self-determination theory in classroom setting demonstrate strong evidence to understand ESL student's internalisation of values in the learning context. Implications for research and practice were also presented.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD.)
Supervisor : Awang Hashim, Rosna and Shaik Abdullah, Sarimah
Item ID: 2099
Uncontrolled Keywords: Autonomy Supportive Teachers, Classroom Engagement, Help Seeking Behaviours, English as a Second Language
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2801-3095 School administration and organization
Divisions: College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2010 02:15
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2013 12:14
Department: College of Arts and Sciences
Name: Awang Hashim, Rosna and Shaik Abdullah, Sarimah
URI: https://etd.uum.edu.my/id/eprint/2099

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