Academic journal article Education

Basic Factors That Affect General Academic Motivation Levels of Candidate Preschool Teachers

Academic journal article Education

Basic Factors That Affect General Academic Motivation Levels of Candidate Preschool Teachers

Article excerpt

Introduction

Education is a process of changing and improving behaviour at all levels of life. The portion of this process that takes place at educational institutions consists of goal, content, process of teaching-learning and testing stages. On the other hand, it is the teachers who take an active part in all these stages. Students' developing expected behaviour depends on the teacher. With the attitudes and behaviour that s/he demonstrates, a teacher can act as a model and may assist in the emergence of the desired human type. This circumstance reveals the relationship between the qualities of teachers and students. However, educating qualified teachers is no simple task and indeed the question of educating qualified teachers is one of the problems common to all developed and developing countries. Teachers' acquiring the proficiencies required by the profession makes it necessary that their pre-service educational needs be determined in a realistic manner and they be educated effectively during the pre-service education process. Moreover, educating qualified teachers or, to put it in another way, their acquisition of the desired behaviour during the pre-service education process depends on countless factors. Administration, financing, theory, guidance, curriculum development, assessment and measurement, instructional technology, method-technique, physical environment, tools, equipment and materials and manpower can be cited as the basic factors that involve thousands of these factors. One of the interfaces where these basic factors and their various sub problems is, without doubt, motivation (teacher / motivation, student / motivation, manager / motivation, environment / motivation, method /motivation etc.).

A large number of studies are being conducted on motivation including many areas outside of education due to this recognized importance of motivation. Therefore, both the definitions and explanations regarding motivation present a huge diversity. On the basis of the common points of the definitions in the relevant literature, motivation can be defined as the psychological state that leads an individual to behave in a certain manner, that drives him/her to behave like that or makes him/her enthusiastic about performing a task. In other words, motivation is an individual's attempting an effort to perform a given task, to spend the required effort and continue that effort. The basic differences that distinguish motivated individuals from unmotivated ones are (1) continuity in taking an interest and paying attention, (2) enthusiasm to make an effort and spend the required time to perform the behaviour, (3) concentrating on the subject, devoting the self and relinquishing the desired behaviour in the face of a difficulty, persevering and showing determination to accomplish the desired end. Deci, 8,: Ryan (2000) classify motivation, in terms of its sources, under two categories, namely extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation. Although both express an individual's determination in the process of performing behaviour, the factor that motivates the individual in the intrinsic motivation is the individual him/herself whereas in the extrinsic motivation factors external to the individual play a part. In the former, the individual performs the expected behaviour when s/he wishes to, but in the second one, s/he believes in the importance of the behaviour under the influence or influences of external stimuli and takes action.

When the approaches and theories in the relevant literature concerning motivation are examined, it is acknowledged that a hidden mobilizing power, be it intrinsic or extrinsic, exists and that it is set in motion by some factors. The fundamental point of controversy, on the other hand, concerns what these mobilizing factors are. Despite differing views set forth in this regard, it is acknowledged by all approaches and theories that motivation is an important determinant in the learning process, and that the process of education may acquire the desired features through controlling motivation (Fidan, 1986; Acat, & Kosgeroglu, 2006). …

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