Motivational climates in ten teachers' elementary physical education classes: An achievement goal theory approach Academic Article uri icon


  • Using achievement goal theory as a theoretical framework, in this study we identified and described motivational climates in second- and fourth-grade elementary physical education classes. Participants were 10 physical education specialists from 6 schools and their intact second-and fourth-grade classes. Videotaping of teachers (4 lessons per teacher) and teacher and student interviews and questionnaires were used for data collection. The data revealed that, for the majority of lessons at both grades, the teachers provided students with a variety of activities, made learning meaningful, recognized and evaluated students based on effort/mastery, used heterogeneous grouping, and provided sufficient practice time. All these are mastery-focused practices. The teachers, however, recognized/ evaluated students in public ways more often than privately and seldom allowed students choices in their own learning, characteristics of a performance-focused climate. Taken together, the findings indicated that the motivational climate these teachers created was neither mastery nor performance focused but a blending of the 2 approaches.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Xiang, P., McBride, R. E., & Solmon, M. A.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Xiang, P||McBride, RE||Solmon, MA

publication date

  • January 2003