Purpose: The present study compares the effectiveness of two interventions: an autonomy-supportive intervention that provide rational, feedback, choice, and acknowledgement of personal conflicts and a more controlling intervention where the teachers do not provide these factors in the environment in class.
Method: A cluster randomized design targeting 393 secondary school students from 8 schools and 16 teachers participated in the study. Each school has a control group and an intervention group. The framework for creating the autonomy-supportive classroom was based on the 5 act of instruction suggested by Reeve (2009).
Results: The intervention successful increased perceived autonomy-support, competence, and relative autonomy of the students. In terms of the motivated and self-regulation and learning strategies, the participants in the intervention group showed higher self-efficacy, and self-regulation. Although the intervention did not increase the students' effort and intrinsic interest in the subject, it managed to maintain the levels, compared to the control group.
Conclusion: The results provide ecologically valid empirical evidence for the importance of providing autonomy-support learning environment in maintaining student's interest, effort, and academic performance.