Teacher Motivations

Teachers’ Motivation to Participate in Training and to Implement Innovations

Cousett Hoover
Ryan Myers
Jessica Rubin


Research Questions from the Article


  • Self-determination theory (SDT) – peoples’ behavior can be intrinsically motivated, extrinsically motivated, or unmotivated depending on their reasons for involvement in the task
  • Intrinsic motivation – engaging in an activity for the inherent enjoyment and pleasure derived from it. Most self-determined type of motivation.
  • Extrinsic motivation -participating in a task for contingent outcomes
    • extrinsic motivation types – external regulation (attainment of incentives), introjected regulation (avoid feelings of guilt), identified regulation (fully-internalized meaningful outcomes)
  • Autonomous or self-determined?
    • difference lies in the degree that the person internalizes behaviors and experiences choice

Class Poll

Discuss Poll Results

Article Overview & Study Findings

Purpose: Test the impact of autonomous and controlled motivation on teacher intentions to participate in further training and to implement the new subject


Method: Mixed methods, longitudinal design with the concurrent transformative approach

Article Overview & Study Findings


  • Intrinsic motivation is highly correlated with identified regulation, or the belief that a training is meaningful or important.
  • Feelings of guilt and external regulations are significantly related.
  • Intrinsic motivation is the most predominant motivation for behavior.
  • Belief that training is meaningful is one of the most frequently presented behavioral regulations in teachers’ answers.
  • Introjected regulation, or participating in a training as to not feel guilty, is represented in teachers’ responses to a much smaller extent.

Article Overview & Study Findings


  • Teacher autonomous motivation is connected with positive outcomes such as job satisfaction, lower teacher burnout, increased sense of personal accomplishments, and reduced emotional exhaustion
  • Most predominant reasons for teacher participation in training are the most internalized forms of behavioral regulations (intrinsic and identified).
  • Although external reasons may affect teacher participation in training, it does not lead to prolonged involvement.

Article Overview & Study Findings


Connections: Zeichner (2003)

Zeichner: Analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of three of the major approaches to teacher education reform in the U.S.

How are teachers’ motivations to participate in learning assumed to be different in each of these reform approaches?

Connections: Zeichner (2003)

Zeichner: Focus on Strategies to Recruit, Prepare, and Retain the Best Teachers for All Students

In “Teachers’ motivation” article,  several cited studies of teachers found

  • positive meaningful relationships between autonomous motivations and
    • optimism
    • job satisfaction
    • psychological health
  • negative meaningful relationships between autonomous motivations and
    • burnout
    • turnover intentions
    • psychological distress

Connections: A Nation at Risk

Think about the statements we read for last week…

A Nation at Risk:

What does this statement posit as a motivator for teacher improvement?

“The Uncertain Profession”:

How do Duncan’s statements position teachers and teacher educators in terms of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation?




  • Teachers must have the right of choice to shape their training according to their needs, without restricting their personal time.
    • At the same time, teachers should be involved in the formulation of current reforms – freedom to customize their training and to participate in individualized programs.
  • First step for teachers – be participant observers in others’ research projects.
    • Second step – pilot their own research projects.
    • Third step – be monitored by experts and given frequent feedback.
  • In-service training that promotes cooperative professional learning opportunities may satisfy teachers’ relatedness need (collaborative learning environments).