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Session Overview
SYM-05: Motivation in the Teaching Profession and Beyond
Time: Tuesday, 28/Aug/2012: 9:00am - 10:30am
Session Chair: Dominik Becker, TU Dortmund
Discussant: Nele McElvany, TU Dortmund University
Organizer: Dominik Becker, TU Dortmund
Organizer: Kerstin Drossel, TU Dortmund
Location: 457

Session Abstract

Compared with other domains such as teacher stress or burnout, studies dealing with teacher motivation and cooperation still appear to be a neglected field of research. Consequently, the symposium proposed here tries to overcome this shortcoming by focusing on different perspectives of teacher motivation also compared to other occupations. The first paper uses cluster analysis to identify teachers' motivational profiles according to self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2002). In a second step, the authors use ANOVA to reveal differences regarding the fulfillment of the basic psychological needs proposed by self-determination theory. The second paper applies the Expected-Value-Model (Eccles & Wigfield 2002) to account for differences in teacher cooperation. Since in the EVM, neither structural nor social conditions of cooperation are considered, the authors extended the model by also including individuals’ subjective norm (Ajzen and Fishbein 1980). Structural equation modeling shows that there is a large effect of teachers’ subjective value on their actual cooperation behavior, and a small (though still significant) impact of teachers’ subjective norm on their subjective value of cooperation. The third paper expands the view on occupational motivation by also considering other professions apart from teachers. Concretely, the author asks which aspects of implicit self-regulation and spirituality can affect intrinsic motivation. While intrinsic motivation correlates significantly positive with all measures of implicit self-regulation, there is mixed evidence regarding the correlations between measures of spirituality and implicit self-regulation.


Teachers’ motivational profiles

Irina Andreitz, Barbara Hanfstingl, Florian Müller

University of Klagenfurt, Germany

Following the assumptions of self-determination theory (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 2002), this presentation deals with inter-individual differences in teachers’ work motivation. SDT proposes five different qualities of motivation, each reflecting another level of self-determination and control, respectively. Human behavior is influenced by all five forms of motivation, and they are all present simultaneously within an individual to a different degree (Ntoumanis, 2002). The development and maintenance of the different forms of motivation are connected to the fulfillment of the three basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence and social relatedness. In contrast to a vast number of studies which are based on SDT, the study presented applies a person-oriented rather than a variable-oriented approach. Using cluster analysis we examined combinations of different types of motivation within a sample of 186 Austrian teachers. Precisely, we could identify teachers’ motivational profiles that differ in their motivational quality. In a next step, the profiles were linked to the fulfillment of the basic needs within teachers’ working environment. ANOVA showed differences in the satisfaction of the psychological needs for autonomy and competence as well as for perceived constraints and support at work.

Motivational prerequisites of teacher cooperation

Kerstin Drossel, Jasmin Schwanenberg, Dominik Becker

TU Dortmund, Germany

Although in numerous studies, teacher cooperation was shown to be one of the crucial factors for school quality (e.g. Sammons, Hillman & Mortimore, 1995), teachers’ individual motives regarding their willingness to cooperate have been neglected up to now. A well-established model that accounts for individual motives in general is the Expected Value Model (EVM) by Eccles and Wigfield (2002) consisting of the subjective task value, the expectation of success and the final achievement-related choices and performances. Since in this EVM, neither structural nor social conditions of cooperation are considered, we extended the model by recurring to the works by Ajzen and Fishbein (1980) also including individuals’ subjective norm which is a crucial factor regarding the formation of intentions.

Based on an online teacher questionnaire (N=550) administered to the teaching staff of 31 upper secondary schools in the German Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia, we test the hypothesis that apart from teachers’ subjective value and their success expectation, also their subjective norm has a distinct impact on their actual cooperation decision.

By means of structural equation modeling we find that although a direct significant effect of the subjective norm component on teachers’ actual decisions is missing, we observe a small (though still significant) impact of teachers’ subjective norm on their subjective value, and a very large effect of teachers’ subjective value on their actual cooperation behavior. These results indicate that direct appeals to teachers’ subjective value are the most promising factors to foster teacher cooperation.

Professional intrinsic motivation, self-regulation, and spirituality

Barbara Hanfstingl

University of Klagenfurt, Germany

Based on person-system-interaction theory (PSI-theory, Kuhl & Fuhrmann, 2008) and self-determination theory (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 2002), this study aims to investigate the relationship between motivational regulation styles and different aspects of self-regulation and spirituality. Hanfstingl et al. (2010) showed that implicit self-regulation plays an important mediating role for the correlation between the three psychological basic needs and professional intrinsic motivation. Therefore, we postulate that apart from environmental factors, particularly person-intern factors may co-determine intrinsic motivation. Koole et al. (2010) noted that people who tend to be religious show higher levels of implicit self-regulative competencies. Thus, the aim of the study presented is to investigate which aspects of self-regulation and spirituality are relevant for intrinsic motivation in more detail.

The data was collected online and with a paper-pencil-version of the questionnaire. More than 380 individuals participated in the survey. First analyses show that some facets of implicit self-regulation (e.g., self-access) correlate significantly negative with spirituality, and some facets of implicit self-regulation (e.g., self-relaxation) do not correlate with the mystical orientation scale. In contrast, the meaningfulness of the SoMe (Schnell & Becker, 2007) and the resilience scale correlate significantly positively with all facets of implicit self-regulation. Another focus of our analyses will be if the data shows differences between teachers and other professional groups. Further outcomes and their implication for the research, but also practical implications (e.g. determinants of high professional intrinsic motivation) will be discussed.

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