Date of Submission

2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Department

Psychology

Department Chair

Robert A DiTomasso, PhD, ABPP, Chair, Department of Psychology

First Advisor

Kate Tresco, PhD, Chairperson

Second Advisor

Virginia Burks Salzer, PhD

Third Advisor

Patricia Broadbent, PsyD

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine teachers' beliefs, perceptions and practices related to student motivation. Two-hundred-and-six teachers from 13 states completed an on-line survey containing the Perception of Student Motivation questionnaire (PSM), Motivating Strategies Questionnaire (MSQ), and researcher-devised questions examining theoretical beliefs and practices. Results reveal that teachers consider motivation to be an important part of their teaching. Teachers' reporting feeling efficacious for diagnosing and intervening for student motivation and believing in the malleability of motivation was found to correlate with motivational strategy use. This finding was consistent with previous research. However, their endorsement of theoretical beliefs and practices was variable. Teachers endorsed relevance as a reason for students lacking motivation and indicated their use of strategies related to relevance over all other reasons and strategies. However, all reasons were found to significantly correlate indicating that if teachers are looking for the cause of students' lack of motivation, they are endorsing several. Further, several strategies were significantly correlated and overall strategy use was endorsed significantly higher than being unable to motivate. Perception of student motivation was not found to correlate to the use of strategies, and this finding is consistent with previous research. Although teachers endorsed motivation as an important part of their teaching, they did not indicate a desire to obtain further professional development in this area.

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