Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2018

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Wehr, Erin

Second Advisor

Manternach, Jeremy

First Committee Member

Baldus, Clar

Second Committee Member

Cohen, Mary

Third Committee Member

Cook, Robert C


Autonomous learning is defined as an individual being actively engaged in the learning process to further his or her own interests and pleasure (Evans, 2016). This study measured music educators’ self-reported perceptions of autonomy-support provided by their principal and music educators’ self-reported perceptions of the autonomy-support they offered to their students. Bonneville-Roussy, Lavigne, and Vallerand (2011), Bonneville-Roussy, Vallerand, and Bouffard (2013), and Evans (2015) researched autonomous learning in music teaching and learning. They suggested music educators need to create a learning environment where students are motivated to learn for their own interests, pleasure, and passion for music.

Autonomous learning research has focused not only on the autonomous learning of the students, but on the support offered by the teacher to motivate the autonomous learning (Reeve, 1998). Reeve (2009) defined autonomy-supportive teaching as “the interpersonal sentiment and behavior teachers provide to identify, nurture, and develop students’ inner motivational resources” (p. 159). Building from that definition, Deci and Ryan (2016) asserted through autonomy-supportive efforts in the classroom, a student will be “moved to act” in the motivational process (Ryan, 2016; Ryan & Deci, 2016). Autonomy-supportive teaching centers on the careful alignment of the teacher’s motivating action with student needs.

For this study, current music educator participants (N = 295) took an online survey that included demographic information, the Work Climate Questionnaire-Schools (Baard, Deci, & Ryan, 2004; adapted for schools with permission), and the Situations in Schools Questionnaire (Aelterman et al., 2017; used with permission from J. Reeve, 2016). Descriptive statistical analysis, correlation analysis, MANOVA, and ANOVA resulted in no significant differences in the correlation analysis between Work Climate Questionnaire – School and Situations in Schools – Controlling-Teaching or Work Climate Questionnaire – School and Situations in Schools – Autonomy-Support.

There was significant negative correlation between Situations in Schools – Controlling-Teaching and Situations in Schools – Autonomy-Support, r (293) = -.160, p < .01, one-tailed. The MANOVA design indicated a main effect for area taught by level taught by highest education attained, Өᵢ = 0.031, F (2, 276) = 4.26, p = .015. There was a statistically significant difference between highest education level attained and the Situations in Schools – Controlling-Teaching Scale, F (1, 290) = 4.923, p < .05.

The negative relationship between controlling-teaching and autonomy-supportive teaching promotes the relevance for the newly established Situations in Schools (Aelterman et al., 2017) measurement tool. The data suggest music educators who possess graduate degrees tend to utilize less controlling-teaching practices. Future research in undergraduate teacher training and professional development in autonomy-supportive teaching could enhance the development of teachers-in-training and current music educators.


Autonomy-Support, Controlling-Teaching, Motivation, Music Education


xix, 191 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 177-191).


Copyright © 2018 Sarah Nicole Van Waardhuizen

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