Impact of teacher dispositions on student self-determination

Barbara S.S. Hong, Peter Shull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This study explored the impact teachers' dispositions have on students' ability to become self-determined individuals. Participants were high school students between the ages of 14-17, attending a suburban school in the U.S. (N=59). Data were collected through the interconnecting arrays of quantitative and qualitative analyses. Perceptions of teachers were measured using the Student Perception of Teacher Dispositions Scale (SPTDS) in terms of teachers' responsiveness, relatedness, quality of teaching, and treatment of students. Level of self-determination was assessed using the Arc's Self-Determination Scale (ASDS) in areas of personal autonomy, self-regulation, psychological empowerment, and self-realization. Findings revealed significant correlations (r=.88) between teachers' mannerism and students' ability and attitude in demonstrating self-deterministic behavior. Further analyses identified "Teaching Quality" and "Student Treatment" as "best" predictors of students' level of self-determination. To obtain an in-depth understanding about the phenomenon of teachers' behavior, three case studies were included to solicit a cross-sectional perspective of situational perception of their teachers. Critical analyses revealed three common themes students yearned from their teachers: (1) provide timely and meaningful feedback; (2) offer opportunities to make decisions; and (3) treat students as real human being. Though preliminary in nature, this study proposed new grounds for legitimately examining the effects positive teacher dispositions have on students' outcome for self-determination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-271
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Learning
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'Impact of teacher dispositions on student self-determination'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this