Teacher motivation in selected high and low achieving elementary schools
Shelnutt, Sandra Kay
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The purpose of this study was to examine the differences between the components of teacher motivation in high and low achieving elementary schools. This study measured the motivational components influenced by the principal as identified by the Teacher Motivation Diagnostic Questionnaire (TMDQ). The four components of the model are: self-concept of ability, attitude toward the principal, principal’ s expectations, and future utility. Data used in this study were collected from a randomly selected sample of elementary schools defined as high achieving and low achieving. The defining factor for selection was ranking by the state of Georgia on the Georgia Public Education Report Card. Selected schools were ranked in the top or bottom performing schools for three consecutive years. A total of 144 teachers were mailed the TMDQ. Responses were received from 86 teachers. The results obtained on comparison of the TMDQ between the low and high achieving elementary schools indicated the following: there is a statistically significant difference between the total motivation mean scores, mean scores for teachers’ perceptions of the principal’ s expectations for student achievement, and mean scores for teachers’ perceptions of the future utility of improved performance. Conversely, the results obtained on comparison of the TMDQ between the low and high achieving elementary schools indicated that there is not a statistically significant difference between the mean scores of the teachers’ attitude toward the principal and the mean scores of teachers’ self-concept of ability. Conclusions from this study recognize that teachers at low achieving elementary schools have different motivational needs than those at high achieving elementary schools. Principals have the task of focusing not just on the demands of today’ s standards but also on the motivational needs of their teachers.