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ERIC Number: ED516125
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 162
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-1918-5
A Comparison of Elementary, Middle, and High School Teachers' Orientations toward Motivating Students
Hansen, Mark David
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Western Illinois University
Developmental psychologists have long known that students are less interested in school and academic tasks with each additional year in school (Eccles & Midgely, 1989). In addition, they know that the most effective predictor of motivation at any age is self-efficacy, a student's perception of his/her academic ability in a specific domain. Factors influencing self-efficacy include: previous successful experiences, social models, the opinions of others, and one's self-perceived efficacy in relation to peers simultaneously engaged in the same tasks (Pressley & McCormick, 2007). Using a sample of 424 teachers in four rural and one urban district in Northwest Illinois, this study sought to measure differences in the motivational orientations of elementary, middle, and high school teachers. The Problems in School Questionnaire (Deci, Schwartz, Sheinman, & Ryan,1981) was administered to teachers of grades 1-12 and collected at building meetings during November and December, 2009. The results confirmed that high school teachers prefer more controlling, and less autonomy-supportive responses to common educational scenarios than do elementary and middle school teachers. The results further confirmed a positive interactive effect between a teacher's gender, grade level teaching assignment, and his/her motivational orientation for control or autonomy-support. In grades 1-8, female teachers selected responses that were more autonomy-supportive than controlling, while male teachers selected responses that were more controlling than autonomy-supportive. However, the difference between male and female teachers' autonomy-supportive responses was not significant among high school teachers. According to "Self-Determination Theory" (Deci & Ryan, 2000), human motivation is influenced by our analysis of the likelihood that a given task will increase feelings of competence, autonomy, and relatedness. This study suggests that as students progress through school, they are less likely to encounter teachers who are sensitive to these motivational needs. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A