Intercultural Motivational Teaching Styles in an At-Risk Primary School

Chantal Vankan, L. Wijnia

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic


Supporting students’ basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness can foster students’ development while undermining these needs can lead to less well-being. Research has shown that teachers of at-risk students can misinterpret students’ needs and sometimes offer less autonomy or adopt controlling teaching practices, which can contribute to the inequality of educational opportunities. Teachers’ conceptions about students’ diverse cultural backgrounds could affect their (de)motivational teaching style. This case study explored the need-supportive teaching style and teachers’ intercultural competence (Hammer et al., 2003) of an at-risk multicultural primary school to detect potential connections between both frameworks. A questionnaire measured the need-supportive teaching of 34 teachers (Aelterman et al., 2019), and 11 of these teachers were interviewed about their intercultural competence. Teachers obtained the highest scores on structure and autonomy support. A positive association was found between need-supportive teaching and the intercultural competence “acception,” referring to an ability to distinguish and acknowledge differences and similarities between cultures and the interest in cultural diversity re\garding equality. Insights from this study can contribute to creating equal educational opportunities by understanding the prerequisites of need support in multicultural at-risk schools.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2023
Event8th International Self-Determination Theory Conference - Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, Orlando, United States
Duration: 31 May 20233 Jun 2023
Conference number: 8


Conference8th International Self-Determination Theory Conference
Abbreviated titleSDT2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


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