Teachers Motivation in Higher Education: A Comparative Study across Discipline and Designation

By Absar, Shadma; Jameel, Syed Salma | Indian Journal of Positive Psychology, June 2017 | Go to article overview

Teachers Motivation in Higher Education: A Comparative Study across Discipline and Designation


Absar, Shadma, Jameel, Syed Salma, Indian Journal of Positive Psychology


The present scenario of higher education persuades us to understand the factors responsible for teacher motivation. The growing nature of higher education has changed the organizational demographics and structure. Diverse students are participating in higher education, this puts more responsibility and workload on the teachers. Many resarchers argue that the high enrolment rate demands more teachers (Ramachandra, Pal, & Mahajan, 2004) and provisions for professional development. The traditional model no longer explain the diversity ofbehavior found in organizational settings (Leonard, Beauvais, & Scholl, 1999). Motivations factors for teachers would include intrinsic motivations (intellectual stimulation, altruism, authority & leadership, personal & professional development) and extrinsic motivations (career change, working conditions, influence of others & nature of teaching work, financial security). Usually, teachers have multiple motivations to enter a profession (Sinclair, 2008). If the teacher feel that they are not getting what they had envisioned for they would be demotivated. A study about university teachers (Kızıltepe, 2008) found that students lack of interest, large classroom size, low salaries and not having much opportunity to do research may lead to demotivation. Teachers perceive their workload as higher in comparison to the returns that they are getting in terms of salary, recognition and support. In another study participants rated teaching as a highly demanding career and at the same time, participants generally perceived teaching as relatively low in social status, and as paying a low salary (Richardson & Watt, 2007). The present research attempts to get an overview of the teacher's perception of motivation in higher education settings. The teachers were asked to respond to the questionnaire items on dependence, organizational orientation, work group relations, psychological work incentives, material incentives and job situation.

Review ofliterature

Teacher motivation is a key determinant for teaching effectiveness and student motivation in classroom (Han & Yin, 2016). Teacher motivation is related with the teachers' attitude to work, their desire to participate in pedagogical processes within the school, their interest in student discipline and control in classroom processes (Ofoegbu, 2004). Teachers' motivation influences their involvement or non-involvement in various academic and non-academic activities in the school. Teachers who are demotivated have poor performing levels both inside and outside classrooms. Ofoegbu (2004) pointed out that teacher motivation include factors that cause, sustain and influence teachers' behaviour towards their better performance in curricular and co-curricular activities. Sinclair (2008) defined teacher motivation as something 'what attracts individuals to teaching, how long they remain in their initial teacher education courses and subsequently the teaching profession, and the extent to which they engage with their courses and the teaching profession' (2008, p. 37).

The quality of academic staff, how they are trained, recruited, rewarded, utilized and motivated are crucial to the effectiveness of any modem higher education system. These motivated teachers are mandatory for the effective delivery and management of contemporary Higher education. Mukhopadhyay (1994) listed and explained several causes of lack of motivation among individuals working in educational institutions. They were incompatible goals, role delusions, insecurity, Work load, Lack of aspiration, discontent at home, mismatched students, organizational complexity, excessive administrative control, misbehaviour of Superiors, communication failure, external interference, lack of incentives, conflicts and internal politics and inadequate resources etc. He also pointed out personal characteristics of the individual are also the deciding factors of being motivated. …

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