An Investigation Into The Effect Of Teachers Motivation On The Academic Achievement Of Students
Motivation refers to reasons that underlie behaviour that is characterized by willingness and volition, intrinsic motivation is animated by personal enjoyment interest, or pleasure, whereas extrinsic motivation is governed by reinforcement contingencies.
Low teacher motivation and its detrimental effect on students achievement are central problems of many education systems in Africa. This paper analysis the relationship between various policy measures, teachers job satisfaction and secondary education outcome. It appears that there is only very limited evidence for effectiveness of intensively debated and costly measures such as reducing class size, increasing academic qualification requirements and increasing teachers salaries. It appears that teachers job satisfaction are necessary and complimentary objective. Those measures ensuring control and incentives related working conditions for teachers significantly increase students achievement while increasing teachers job satisfaction. Teachers’ academic qualification while beneficial for students’ learning, tends to be a mismatch between teacher expectation and professional realities and thereby reduces teachers job satisfaction.
1.1 Background Of The Study
The issue of poor academic performance of students in Nigeria has been of much concern to all and sundry. The problem is so much that it has led to the widely acclaimed fallen standard of education in Nigeria. The quality of education depends on the teachers as reflected in the performance of their duties. Overtime the students’ performance in both internal and external examinations had been used to determine excellence in teachers and teaching (Ajao, 2001).
One of the biggest puzzles in education production today is the teacher quality puzzle. While there is clear evidence that teacher quality is a key determinant of student learning, little is known about which specific observable characteristics of teacher can account for this impact.
The effective teachers are perceived to be fully equipped naturally and professionally to lead their students to success in competitive standardized tests, as well as inculcated in them, values that would make them exhibit behaviors that are generally desirable and acceptable. On the other hand, the ineffective teachers do not care about the success of their students in examinations, and in some cases, students who pass through such teachers especially in terms of emulating their life styles, tend to exhibit behaviors that are detestable by the society. Such students also, do not perform well in competitive examination.
It is generally acknowledged that promoting teachers quality is a key element in improving primary and secondary education. Teachers are the most important factor in determining the quality of education that children receive. As such, government has a responsibility to ensure that teachers perform to the best of their abilities. To do this, government must pay attention to a number of factors that affect teachers’ performance. Teachers’ compensation is critical, but not the only factors, and social recognition of their work. Educators may be compensated through salaries or other cash payment, food, training or special assistance such as shelter, transport or agricultural support. If staffs are not paid, they will not teach regularly or will leave the profession, if compensation is irregular, or frequently withheld, teacher motivation may be affected. Therefore, an established teacher compensation system helps to stabilize the education system and decrease teacher absenteeism and turnover.
In addition to compensation, teachers are motivated by a range of other factors including
- Dedication to the profession and teaching children
- Success in the classroom- professional rewards of seeing children achieve
- Status in their community from exercising a respected profession
- Training and mentoring, particularly recognized and certificated in-service training
- Appropriate working conditions- including issues such as the number of hours taught each week, the number of students in the classroom
- Support of the head teacher
- Availability of teaching and learning materials
- Parental involvement and support, clear school policies and guidelines and the physical condition of the learning space/ classroom
- The prospect of promotion and career advancement
The roles of teachers are very crucial for the transfer of knowledge in schools. In Africa, a major political topic in this context is how to resolve the problem of low teacher motivation and its detrimental effect on student achievement. The literature is full of apparently obvious policy recommendations, salaries and reductions in class size (UNICEF, 1999). This corresponds to what teachers themselves claim to be responsible for their de motivation, not only in developing countries, but in general.
Job satisfaction and motivation are essential to the continuing growth of our educational system. The probably rank along side professional knowledge and skills, competencies centers, educational resources and strategies as determinants of educational success and performance. Professional knowledge, skills and competencies can be seen when one is taking on and mastering challenging tasks directed at educational success and performance (Filak and Sheldon 2003) satisfaction and motivation to work are very essential in the lives of teachers because they form the fundamental reason form working in life. While almost every teacher works in order to satisfy his or her own needs in life, he or she constantly agitates for job satisfaction. Job satisfaction in this context is the ability of the teaching job to meet teachers’ needs and improve their job/teaching performance. The Federal and State government have argued that the present economic realities in the country cannot sustain the demand in salary increase, benefits and improved work conditions. They believe that teachers’ demands are beyond the government resources. Government accuses the teachers of negligence, laziness, purposeful lethargy and level of efficiency and effectiveness does not necessitate the constant request for salary increase, incentives and better working condition. Teachers argue that the existing salary structure, benefits and working condition do not satisfy their basic needs in as much as other sectors of the economy have bigger salary structure, better motivation and enhanced working conditions. They feel that the Nigeria economy is not properly balanced hence their demands.
The teachers’ argument is in line with Adams 1966) equity theory of motivation. Adams equity theory called for a fair balance to be struck between employees’ input (for example hardwork, skill levels, tolerance and enthusiasm) and employees output (example salary benefits and intangibles such as recognition.
According to the finding, a fair balance serves to ensure a strong and productive relationship with the overall result being satisfied, thus motivated employees. The theory is built on the belief that employees become de –motivated, both in relation to their job and their employer, if they feel as though their inputs are greater than the outputs. Employees can be expected to respond to this in different ways, including de-motivation, reduced effort , becoming disgruntled, or in more extreme cases even becoming disruptive.(www.mindtools.com/pages/article/new LDR_96.htm).Teachers are expected to render a very high job performance and the Ministry of Education is always curious regarding the job performance of its teachers. Also, they demand for a very high measure of loyalty, patriotism, dedication, hardwork and commitment from its teachers (Ubom and Joshua, 2004).
Similarly, the roles and contexts of education, motivational methods and tools cannot be under emphasized because high motivation enhances productivity which is naturally in the interests of all educational systems (Olulube 2004, 2005).
Current system of reward
Under most current systems of a salary scale, teachers are rewarded for the number of years spent teaching and the number of tertiary degrees, rather than their performance (Odden 2000a). For this reason, many analysts believe the salary scale system determines teachers’ compensation on incomplete criteria. Hoerr (1998) argues that any non-merit-based system is unfair for exceptional teachers because they are judge on inefficient criteria. This will cause, it is argued talented teachers to leave the education system because excellence is not fairly rewarded (Odden 2001). Only when performance is rewarded and teachers command salaries equal to the private sector without having to progress up an arbitrary salary scale, will the best talent be attracted and retained (Solomon and Podgursky 2001) proponents point out that research has found no consistent links between education credits or degree and student performance, and only modest links between experience and student performance (Heneman et al 2000). The existing salary scales are thus at best only loosely related to the expertise and skills needed in the classroom (Mohrman and Odden 1996). If the pay structure is based on this formula it inevitably produces unsatisfactory outcomes as it is not well aligned to education output(Odden 2000a). Thus, a substantial body of literature argues performance based reward system are an improvement on the efficiency of salary scale.
Provision of motivation to teachers
One of the largest benefits reported by proponents of performance –based rewards is an increase in the motivation of teachers. It is argued that performance-based pay will increase teacher motivation by adequately rewarding productivity gains. This perspective links the attitude of teachers to students’ outcomes, by arguing that once the motivation and skill of the teacher determining salaries, teacher quality will be improved. Within the literature, Tomlinson (2000) argues performance-based pay is about motivating people, and developing performance-oriented cultures. Teachers who are not motivated by financial rewards can be encouraged with non-financial rewards (Odden 2000a). These rewards can include, for example, satisfaction from high student achievement, recognition, influence, learning new skills and personal growth (Tomlinson 2000; Odden 2000b)
While it is argued that teachers are not motivated by money, financial reward must have some influence on career choices for at least some teachers motivation, and others are argued money is one motivator among many. Hence, it is argued a performance-based policy which involves a monetary component w
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