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Session Overview
PAP-05: Teacher Motivation
Time: Tuesday, 28/Aug/2012: 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Session Chair: Einar M Skaalvik, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Location: 457


Motivational Profiles of Pre-service Teacher Students: A Comparative Study Between Austria and China

Almut Elisabeth Thomas1, Chen Chen2, Florian H. Müller3, Gabriele Khan1

1University College of Teacher Education, Carinthia, Viktor Frankl Hochschule, Austria; 2Nanjing Normal University,China; 3Alpen Adria Universität Klagenfurt

Self-determination theory differentiates between autonomous and controlled types of motivation, which both influence students’ learning engagement. In the present study a person-centered approach was adopted to identify and compare the motivational profiles of pre-service teacher students from Austria (n = 391) and from China (n = 267). First, we applied a latent class analysis and checked whether a four-class solution as suggested by Vansteenkiste et al. (2009) was adequate for both, the Austrian and the Chinese sample. Second, we described the latent classes and compared the proportions of class membership of both samples. It was found that a 4-class solution was supported for the Austrian as well as the Chinese sample. Analysis showed that most pre-service teacher students of both countries are motivated autonomously. However, there were significant differences in the general level of motivation as well as in the proportion of class memberships between the two cultures.

How motivation to become a teacher affects preservice teachers’ academic achievement: Relationships between motivation for becoming a teacher, commitment, teaching self-efficacy and academic achievement

Marjon Fokkens-Bruinsma, Esther Canrinus

University of Groningen, Netherlands, The

This study focuses on the shortage of secondary school teachers in the Netherlands. We assume that the motivation for becoming a teacher is essential for retention during teacher education. Our goal is to investigate whether the motivation for becoming a teacher is related to commitment to the teacher training programme.

We combined perspectives from three theories, namely on the motivation for becoming a teacher, on professional commitment and on teacher self-efficacy. Watt & Richardson specified a theory on motivation for becoming a teacher. This theory consists of five constructs that are important to the decision to become a teacher: prior teaching and learning experiences, perceptions of the task, perceptions of one’s abilities, values, and teaching as a fallback career. Meyer et al., distinguished three factors of professional commitment: ‘affective commitment’, ‘normative commitment’, and ‘continuance commitment’. Friedman and Kass distinguished classroom teaching self-efficacy and school teaching self-efficacy. We assumed that the motivation for becoming a teacher was related to retention in the teacher education program, through commitment and teacher self-efficacy

82 university-based pre-service teachers completed our questionnaire. Retention was measured in terms of academic achievement after 12 months. The analyses indicated that teaching ability was an important motive. Furthermore, perceptions of the task were positively related to commitment, whereas values were also related to teaching self-efficacy. The motive fallback career had negative relationships with commitment and teaching self-efficacy. We finally found that affective commitment was positively related to achievement, whereas normative commitment was negatively related to achievement.

Psychological well-being and engagement among teachers: associations with social relations, self-efficacy, and feeling of belonging

Einar M Skaalvik1,2, Sidsel Skaalvik1,2

1Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway; 2NTNU Social Research AS

The purpose of this study was to test how teacher self-efficacy as well as teachers’ social relations at the workplace (relations with colleagues, parents, and the school principal) was related to their feeling of belonging, engagement, and psychological well being. The participants in the study were 2569 Norwegian teachers. Psychological well being was indicated by three scales: (a) Negative affect, anxiety and depression, (b) Emotional exhaustion, and (c) Psychosomatic responses. Other study variables were measured with well established scales, for instance the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale and the Norwegian Teacher Self-Efficacy Scale. Data were analyzed by means of structural equation modeling for latent variables (SEM). We tested a theoretical model with the three social relation variables as exogenous variables predicting self-efficacy directly and belonging, well being, and engagement both directly and indirectly, through self-efficacy. The empirical model had acceptable fit to the data. Social relations with colleagues, parents, and the school principal were strongly related to self-efficacy and belonging, which again predicted well being and engagement. The findings underscore the importance of building positive social relations at the workplace and indicate that the associations between social relations and well being as well as engagement are mediated through belonging and self-efficacy.

Early Career University Teachers’ Motivation and Feeling of Responsibility

Marold Wosnitza1, Kerstin Helker1, Caroline Mansfield2

1RWTH University Aachen, Germany; 2Murdoch University Perth, Australia

Teacher motivation has become a significant area of research in teaching and teacher education, focusing on many factors that influence a person’s motivation to pursue a career in teaching, more specifically to enter, leave or stay the profession. While most of the studies focus on schoolteachers, teachers in higher education have been left somewhat disregarded. Thus, this study investigates early career university teachers’ motivation, specifically focusing on their personal goals for teaching as opposed to their goals as a researcher. Results show that university teachers focus on their research and qualification rather than teaching and furthermore view their teaching as a means to an end. This view might result in or be caused by the finding of this study that beginning university teachers rate their teaching skills on an average level and feel less responsible for student motivation and achievement rather than for teaching and establishing relationships with their students.

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