The Impact Of Teacher Motivation On The Academic Performance Of Students In Mathematics

Mathematics Education Project Material

The Impact Of Teacher Motivation On The Academic Performance Of Students In Mathematics

Chapter One


1.1 Background To The Study

Education is a fundamental human right and the key to sustainable development, peace and stability within and among countries is the provision of education to the populace of such countries. The learning environment and teachers` motivation upon knowledge development relatively need attention in the field of mathematics teaching and learning. What happens in the classroom between psychological implication of teachers concerning their motivation and the student ability to study well has an impact on students’ opportunity to learn. The activities in the classroom, the repeated actions in which students and teachers engage as they learn are important because they constitute the knowledge that is produced.

Availability of teaching/learning resources and teachers` motivation enhances the effectiveness of schools as these are basic things that can bring about good academic performance in the students. The educational effort that will be helpful in developing human resources needed is not given much attention. In particular, low quality education in mathematics is an urgent issue to be addressed. Maicibi (2003) opined that all institutions or organization are made up of human beings (workers) and other non-human resources. He further asserts that when the right quantity and quality of human resources is brought together, it can manipulate other resources towards realizing institutional goals and objectives.

Consequently, every institution should strive to attract and retain the best of human resource. The implication of these opinions is that well trained and motivated teachers in mathematics if well deployed to the secondary schools will bring about well-rounded students who will perform academically well. Most teachers are trained and have clear goals to guide their teaching, but good motivations for the teachers and teaching/learning materials seem to be inadequate. As a result, there has been a public outcry about poor performance of mathematics secondary school level.

Teacher motivation in developed countries is due to the fact that teachers are provided with good quality teacher training and development hence they have opportunities to further improve their training (Evans 2000). They work in acceptable physical school contexts. These countries are such as, the United States of America (USA), the United Kingdom (UK), Canada and Australia. They remain motivated when they see their learners achieve academically as they expect incentives. A decade ago, one observer noted that performance incentives in schools were ―virtually untested‖ (Hanushek, 1996) Since then, a multitude of accountability programs have been implemented that mete out rewards or sanctions to schools and teachers based on some function of school test scores, especially under the guise of the U.S‘s. No Child Left Behind Act.

There is mounting concern that rigid compensation structures weaken teachers ‘incentives hence the need to exert effort and improve student performance. In the United States and elsewhere, such concerns have catalyzed the use of monetary performance incentives, often based upon the level or growth of students ‘test-score performance. Nonetheless, pay-for-performance is relatively rare and existing plans are often small scale and short-lived. In contrast, Mexican public school teachers have been eligible for large financial awards since 1993 that are based upon student test scores, among other factors. However, in many developed countries, namely the U.S.A and the U.K, many social and environmental factors are enforcing negative learner attitudes. These undermine the teachers ‘overall enjoyment of their profession (Scott, Cox & Dinhams1999:302; Ingram 1997:414; Stenlund).

Negative job related attitudes among teachers do correlate with promotions to some extent. It is the perception of the inequity in promotions which results in the dissatisfaction and de-motivation of teachers. In the developed world, people working in the business and engineering fields have witnessed markedly higher salary increases due to promotions and the high demand for their services, compared to the lower increases in the teaching profession Stewards& Spence (1997). The search for collegiality is a motivating factor for teachers in the developing world as well. Most motivating in the developed world today is the existence of a community of practice in schools.

According to Sergiovanni (2004), teachers are motivated when they are able to share a common body of knowledge. This can only happen when teachers have forums for discussions and training and development programs. Recognition in the form of praise and constructive feedback from colleagues and the principal has a positive impact on teacher motivation, self-esteem, confidence and sense of security. Teachers long for recognition praise and feedback about their achievements and this is likely to motivate them professionally Steyn (2002) .Mexican public school teachers are eligible for large and permanent salary increases if they obtain scores above a cutoff in a national assessment. The assessment includes measures of teacher’s background characteristics in addition to end-of-year student test scores.

Determining factors relating to teacher motivation in developing countries will thus shed light on the situation in Kenya. This will help the researcher to have better insight into these issues, and gain a better understanding of teacher motivation in Kenya, in particular. They experience a lack of such relationships because of the hierarchical nature of schools and teachers habits of working alone (Leibowitz 2003:13; Lethoko et al 2001:316).

It is obvious that aspects determining teacher motivation are diverse and impact on the whole culture, the researcher however intends to examine to what extent they are relevant to the performance of student.

1.2 Statement Of The Problem

The public school world is changing; the days when students walked to their neighborhood school, when the teaching ranks were abundant and space limitless are past. Today‘s schools are often overcrowded, staffed by temporary instructors and in dire need of repair – both physically and academically. The country is facing a qualified and experienced teacher shortage that necessitates schools to go beyond the conventional and make changes that will attract new educators into the profession. Schools cannot continue relying on old methods of functioning; rather, school leaders must explore new options that go against the traditional educational grain to ensure motivated teachers and improved performance. Tamara W. Schiff, (2010).

Nigeria as country needs to focus more on the education sector and pump in enough money. Teachers in the country are to be accorded with enough respect, their salaries and allowances are not supposed to be delayed but otherwise is the case there are so many teacher out there who have not received a dime for the past five months for the hard work and labour they do, even private owned schools pay their teacher stipends as salary, all this put together with some other factors discourage the teachers from performing a good task of putting in their effort to teach the students. Students are failing and teachers do not care because no special treatment is given to them to encourage their hard work instead government is still owning them.

1.3 Objectives Of The Study

The main objectives of this study is to discover the impacts motivation of teachers has on the performance of students.

The specific objectives are laid down below:

  1. To determine the influence of recognition of teachers on the student academic performance of students in secondary schools.
  2. To explore the influence of staff development of teachers on the student academic performance of students in secondary schools.
  3. To examine the influence of advancement and growth of teachers on the student academic performance of students in secondary schools.
  4. To determine the influence of teachers ‘incentives on the student academic performance of students in secondary schools.

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions will guide the researcher while conducting the research arrive a valid and reliable results:

  1. To establish how recognition influences teacher motivation and student performance in secondary schools.
  2. To find out how staff development influences teacher motivation and student performance in secondary schools.
  3. To establish how advancement and growth influences teacher motivation and student performance in secondary schools
  4. To establish how incentives influence teacher motivation and student performance in secondary schools.

1.5 Significance Of The Study

The study is of importance to the government, and stakeholders involve in policy making and secondary school administrators as it identifies major strategies that motivate the behavior of teaching staff towards their job performance. It has in particular identified strategies that will help to improve teacher morale and working conditions, at the same time counter the factors that lower the teacher’s motivation. On the international level, this study provided a good comparison for various motivation strategies in different parts of the world. In the education sector especially in the rural and urban poor population.

1.6 Scope Of The Study

This study is supposed to cover all the secondary schools in the country, but due to limited time and some other constraints sampling is taken from five schools from five different local government area of Osun and Oyo state, they are:

Olorunda LGA, and Ede North LGA in Osun state, and Oluyole LGA, Ogbomoso North LGA and Oyo West LGA in Oyo state.

1.7 Delimitation Of The Study

The major difficulties encountered during this study is limited time and insufficient fund to get access to the stakeholder involve.

1.8 Definition Of Terms


Motivation According to Okumbe (1998) motivation is defined as a physiological or psychological deficiency or need that activates behavior or a drive that is arrived at 14 a goal or incentive.

Academic Performance:

This refers to how pupils deal with their studies and how they accomplish tasks given to them by their teachers.


The act of showing appreciation for a task well done in a work setting.


Providing opportunities for improvement of working condition

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