A Study Of Motivational Theories And Secondary School Teacher Performance

Project and Seminar Material for Education

Project and Seminar Material for Education


Teacher motivation and performances are very essential to the continuing growth of educational systems around the world and they rank alongside professional knowledge and skills, center competencies, educational resources as well as strategies, in genuinely determining educational success and performance. This study assessed the differences and relationship between the level of teachers’ job satisfaction, motivation and their teaching performance in Lagos State of Nigeria.

A questionnaire titled ‘TEJOSAMOQ’ was used to collect data for the study. While the data for the study was analyzed using chi-square, the survey results revealed that teacher related sources of job satisfaction seem to have a greater impact on teaching performance, as teachers are also dissatisfied with the educational policies and administration, pay and fringe benefits, material rewards and advancement. Teacher motivation is very necessary to increase performance towards teaching job.

Chapter One


1.1 Background To Study

Motivation is the activation or energization of goal oriented behaviour. Motivation is said to be intrinsic or extrinsic. Motivation is defined as “some kind of internal drive which pushes someone to do things in order to achieve something” (Haminer, 2001:51). As stated by Brown (1994:152), Motivation is a term that is used to define the success or the failure of any complex task steers and Porter (1991:6) deal with three matter while discussing motivation:

  1. What energizes human behaviour?
  2. What directs or channel such behaviour?
  3. How this behaviour is maintained or sustained

Motivation is thought to be responsible for “why people decide to do something, how long they are willing to sustain the activity and how hard they are going to purse it” (Dornyei 2001a:8). Ryan and Deci (2000a:54) state that “to be motivated means to be moved to do something” unlike unmotivated people who have lost impetus and inspirations to act, motivated people are energized and activated to the end of a task. According to Steer and Porter (1991:6), motivation can be characterized as follow:

  1. Needs or expectations
  2. Behaviour
  3. Goals and
  4. Some form of Feedback.
Teacher Motivation

Richard Ingersoll, a university of Georgia Sociologist, defines teaching as “an occupation with a very high turnover rate and the graying workforce is only a piece of the puzzle” (Lawrence, 1999:13). Motivation is professionalism. Indeed, human resources constitute the most valuable asset that enables schools to provide quality education, and educational organizations depend for their success on the quality, commitment and performance of the people who work there (Heyness 2000:160). The most important human resources in the education institution that enables it to achieve its core mission is the teacher (Kruger &Van Schalkroyt 1997:12).

The teacher is the full time classroom practitioner whose main function is more instructional in approach than managerial. According to Barmby (2006:250), teachers performs their task for three main reasons: altruistic, intrinsic and extrinsic reasons. However, the reasons for choosing the profession as career are predominantly related to altruistic and intrinsic stimuli (Moran, Kilpatrick, Abbott, Dallat & Mechine 2001:17-32) and maintain a whole hearted passion for teaching and leading requires not only skills perse but excellence, inner strength and a strong spirit (Jackson & Jackson 1999:23).

Teacher motivation has to do with teachers’ attitude to work. Traey (2000:5) defines motivation as all those inner staving conditions, described as wishes or urges, that stimulate the interest of a person of professionalism and are enthusiastic and totally committed to teaching. In this regard, Steyn (2002a:86) identified the following signs of a morale that is closely related to effective motivation: excellent performance and the consistent achievement of results, a positive attitude regarding problem solving and a willingness to accept responsibility and accommodate change. This will contribute to the effective realization of the schools organizational visions, mission and goals.

Consequently, in effective schools with motivated and well committed teachers, there is also an effective culture of the teaching and learning. Teachers are motivated in their work when they feel good. They feel good when the principals avoids ‘professional myopia’ and when teachers do not work in an uncompromising context. In this situation teachers job-related ideas incorporate ethical, epistemological, affective professional, economic and egocentric considerations which shape their views on equity and justice, pedagogy and androgogy, organizational efficiency, interpersonal relations, collegiality, self-conception and self-image (Euacns 2001”300-302).

This implies that teachers are motivated when there is a “teacher-cantered approach to educational leadership when the principal as an educational leader, out and above his/her management role, endeavour to meet as many individuals needs as possible and leads the teachers with considerable care, a positive attitude and interest in their welfare. A principal guided by this approach develops a work context that is underpinned by a professional culture of tolerance, co-operation, compromise and consideration of the teachers. Sergiouanni (1998:38) calls this approach the ‘pedagogical leadership’ approach. Today with increasing demands placed on teachers in contexts of increased tendencies of a breaking down of the culture of teaching and learning on account of increasingly persuasive societies, it is difficult to urge teachers to put their heart and soul into their work (Murthy 2003:1).

Teacher Motivational Theories

Johnson (1986:55) states that there are three theories of motivation and productivity that teacher motivation is based on, which are as follows:

1. Expectancy theory:

It is probable for a person to struggle for work if there is an expected reward such a bonus or a promotion is worth working.

2. Equity theory:

Unfair treatment for their efforts and achievement makes individual displeased.

3. Job enrichment theory:

The more varied and challenging their work is, the more productive teachers become.

Teachers primarily are motivated by intrinsic rewards such as respect, responsibility, and a sense of accomplishment.

Thus, Administrators can boost morale and motivate teachers to excel by means of participatory governance, in service education, and systematic, supportive evaluation. Because motivation is psychologically complex, no general and comprehensive theory exist. The beginning of such a theory however have taken shape from the writings of influential theorist such as Abraham Maslow (1970), McGregor Douglas (1967), Fredrick Herzberg (1964), and more recently Edward. L. Deci (1975).

In assessing teacher performance in various secondary schools, the teacher performance need to be evaluated. The evaluation procedure and associated instrument provide the framework for assessing teacher performance. Through the objective and unbiased application this process, performance strength and areas for improvement will be identified.

For teacher performance to be evaluated properly, certain performance criteria have to be put in place, this performance criteria will serve as a foundation for evaluating teacher performance in secondary schools. This data will be communicated to the teacher in constructive way and through interactions, a professional growth plan will be developed to support and enhance professional development. The principal is responsible for evaluation of teacher performance at the school site. The principal may however delegate the responsibility to his or her assistant. Teacher performance evaluation can be done by External supervisors from various ministry and board of Education in Nigeria.

1.2 Statement Of Problem

It is assumed that teachers agitation and demand are beyond the resources of the Ministry of Education or the government. As a result, the government in Nigeria and the Nigerian Union of Teachers (N.U.T) are in constant stand-off over the increase in salaries, benefit and improvement in teachers working conditions. The federal and state government have argued in Nigerian during the National council on Education (N.C.E) meeting which held in Kano in 2002 that the present economic realities in the country cannot sustain the demanded increase in salaries, benefit and improvement in working condition. Specifically they argue that teachers demands are beyond the government resources.

The government position concerning the job performance of teachers as they accuse the teachers of negligence, laziness purposeful lethargy and lack of dedication and zeal to work. They further argue that teachers lend of efficiency and effectiveness does not necessitate the constant request for salary increase, incentive and better working conditions. While teachers on their part argue that the existing salary structure, benefits and working conditions do not satisfy their basic needs in as much as other sectors of the economy have huge and attractive salary structure, better motivation, better the teacher performances and enhanced working conditions. They feel Nigeria’s economy is not properly balanced, hence their demands are being hindered which also reduces their performance. This study therefore takes it upon itself to study the motivational theories and secondary school teacher performance in the selected area.

1.3 Purpose Of Study

The overall purpose of the study was to explore and explain the motivational theories, job satisfaction and teacher performance in relation to Nigerian teachers need satisfaction for school effectiveness. The purpose of this research is to test the various theories in the educational environment using teacher performance and need satisfaction ratings as the dependent variables. This study tends to investigate challenges and also proper solutions to the challenges involved in motivating teachers for a better performance.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. Which motivational theories will be applicable to the teaching profession?
  2. What motivates teacher performances?
  3. Will the performance of the teachers be related to the prompt payment of salaries, fringe benefit and other allowances?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

  1. There is no significant relationship between teacher performance and prompt payment of salaries, fringe benefit and allowances.
  2. There is no significant relationship between availability of instructional materials in the schools and teacher performance.
  3. There are no significance in the intensity of job dissatisfaction factors of Nigeria teachers.
  4. There is no significant difference between motivated and unmotivated teacher performance.
  5. There are no significant relationships between factors that tend to motivate teachers in terms of job satisfaction and teacher performance.

1.6 Significance Of Study

The relevance of this research may be seen in how far it supports or refutes prior claims about motivation and teacher performance amongst Nigeria teachers and, if possible, teachers around the world. Prominently, Nigerian teachers referred to in this study are secondary school teachers. Finally, the empirical findings from this study would help in describing or explaining the pivotal role of motivation on the needs satisfaction of Nigerian teachers in line with other theories that are reviewed in this work. The result of this study would also help educationist and policy makers in emphasizing the need for the inclusion of motivational packages for teachers so as to prepare them for better performance.

1.7 Scope And Limitation Of Study

There is no gain saying that Lagos State is the most populated geographical unit of Nigeria. For the purpose, of space limitation, this research project on motivational theories and teacher performance in secondary school would be limited to some secondary school within the selected area of study.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does teacher motivation strategy influence academic achievement of Higher Secondary students?

A strong positive correlation was found between teacher‟s motivational strategy and academic achievement of higher secondary students. References: Amrai, K. Motlagh, S. E, Zalani , H.A &Parhon, H. (2011).

What motivates teachers in the classroom?

The teachers‟ motivational strategies in the classroom are very essential to achieve the students‟ academic achievement. Significant of the study In all educational institutions, the whole teaching-learning process is directed towards achievement in the academic field as well as in the sphere of co-curricular activities.

Are girls‟ schools better teachers‟ motivational strategies than boys‟ school students?

But the girls and co-educational school students are better than boys‟ schools students in their fear, power, social and teachers‟ motivational strategy in total. Significant difference was found among government, aided and unaided schools higher secondary students in their teachers‟ motivational strategy except the dimension incentive.

Do incentives make a difference in teachers‟ motivational strategy?

Significant difference was found among government, aided and unaided schools higher secondary students in their teachers‟ motivational strategy except the dimension incentive. 


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