An Investigation of the Pedagogic and Motivational Climate in UK Based Pilates Classes


Pilates has become one of the popular exercises these days. As its popularity grows, many research studies also have looked at how Pilates exercise can affect people’s psychological and physical health in a positive way. However, there are not many studies which address the exercise adherents’ issues of Pilates exercise. Therefore, this study is designed to investigate the motivation factors and the relationship between Pilates teachers teaching style and the participants’ motivation based on the premise of self-determination theory. There are three main purposes for the current investigation: (1) To critically evaluate the factors relating to motivation among Pilates participants in the UK Pilates class, (2) To investigate the relationship between participants’ motivation and instructional style/ pedagogy and (3) To analyse the level of participants’ competence to impact upon Pilates’ teachers/ instructors’ pedagogy and the participants’ motivation. Interpretative Phenomelogical Analysis (IPA) was applied for collecting the data by conducting a focus group interviews and individual semi-structured interviews. Both Pilates teachers/ instructors (n=5) and different levels of Pilates participants (n=30) were included in this survey. The results indicated that the satisfaction of the psychological needs of competence (i.e. sense of improvement) was the key factor in enhancing the participants’ self-determined form of motivation among all levels of Pilates participants. Relatedness was also identified as the source of participants’ exercise adherence. However, autonomy (i.e. given choice to select exercises) was a distal need. Teachers teaching style and teachers supportive behaviour played an important role in participants’ motivation. Moreover, environmental factors such as class environment, and other participants can affect participants’ motivation to some extent, either in a positive or a negative way. These findings revealed that there is a close relationship between teachers teaching style and participants’ exercise motivation and basic psychological needs fulfilment such as competence and relatedness. Results suggest that Pilates’ teachers should be encouraged to apply non-linear teaching approaches such as CLA and guided discovery, which was identified as an effective way of meeting participants’ competence. Moreover, teachers are required to create a learning environment where participants are encouraged, supported and where they are able to focus on learning Pilates

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