Teacher interpersonal behaviour, student motivation and competence level

The article of Dr Zainun Misbah on teacher-student interactions in competence-based vocational education and the mediating role of motivation is now published online in Learning Environments Research. In competence-based education research much attention has been given to the design of that innovation, its implementation and the assessment of student competence. Less attention has been given to the role of the teacher and the changing relationship between the teacher and student. In this study the interactions between teacher behaviour, competence development of students and intrinsic motivation were studied. Two teaching practices were compared which varied regarding the extent to which principles of competence-based education were implemented. These teaching practices were characterized by high and low levels of implementation of principles of competence-based education. In earlier publications this rather wordy difference was described as education programs having high and low ‘competentiveness’ levels. This difference can be measured by using the matrix of competence-based education, which includes ten design principles and five implementation levels.

The learning environment in competence-based education theoretically implies that teachers assume the role of coach instead of instructor, and that students take more responsibility for their own learning process. Self-regulation and ownership are important features of learning in competence-based education. It would be expected that the changes in teacher and student behaviour and teacher-student interactions are reflected in education practices of which the competentiveness levels differ.

In this study, in which three questionnaires completed by 506 first-year students in vocational education in Indonesia were analysed using multigroup structural equation modelling, higher levels of control by teachers in high competence-based education appeared indeed to be counterproductive, as they had a more negative influence on the development of planning and organising competence as reported by the students. Motivation acted as an intermediate variable between teacher behaviour and student competence development. Cooperative teacher behaviour affected student motivation more in low competence-based education. This suggests that for learning motivation in high-competence education practices, students are less dependent on the cooperative behaviour of the teachers. The learning environment in high competence-based education itself seems to be a stronger trigger of learning motivation.

These and more results are further discussed in the article.

The complete reference to the article is:

Misbah, Z., Gulikers, J., Widhiarso, W., & Mulder, M. (2021). Exploring connections between teacher interpersonal behaviour, student motivation and competency level in competence-based learning environments. Learning Environments Research. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10984-021-09395-6.