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Teacher motivation: a factor for classroom effectiveness and school improvement in Nigeria.
Subject:
Teachers (Psychological aspects)
School improvement programs
Motivation (Psychology)
Author:
Ofoegbu, F.I.
Pub Date:
03/01/2004
Publication:
Name: College Student Journal Publisher: Project Innovation (Alabama) Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Education Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2004 Project Innovation (Alabama) ISSN: 0146-3934
Issue:
Date: March, 2004 Source Volume: 38 Source Issue: 1
Geographic:
Geographic Scope: Nigeria Geographic Code: 6NIGR Nigeria

Accession Number:
115034778
Full Text:
The study addressed the issue of teacher motivation as an essential factor for classroom effectiveness and school improvement. Teacher motivation has to do with teachers' desire to participate in the education process.

772 (10%) public primary and secondary school teachers selected through strategic random sampling technique from the south eastern part of the country participated in the study.

Data was collected using a survey instrument designed by the researcher. Analysis of data revealed that the participating teachers almost unanimously agreed that teacher motivation is a vital factor for classroom effectiveness and school improvement.

It was therefore recommended that in this era of materialism and display of wealth in the face of widespread poverty teachers need to be adequately motivated (salaries must be paid as at when due and teaching facilities made available) for an effective viable school system.

Introduction

Motivation is not completely a new term. What is interesting about it is that it is commonly assumed to be a good thing that goes in influencing individual's behaviour and performance at work.

Teacher motivation naturally has to do with teachers' attitude to work. It has to do with teachers desire to participate in the pedagogical processes within the school environment. It has to do with teachers' interest in student discipline and control particularly in the classroom. Therefore it could underlie their involvement or non-involvement in academic and non-academic activities, which operate in schools. The teacher, is the one that translates educational philosophy and objective into knowledge and skill and transfers them to students in the classroom. Classroom climate is important in teacher motivation. If a teacher experiences the classroom as a safe, healthy, happy place with supportive resources and facilities for teaching for optimal learning, he/she tends to participate more than expected in the process of management, administration, and the overall improvement of the school. The teacher commands and emits the image of one who improves knowledge and the physical conditions of the classroom through orderliness, discipline and control. He makes diagnosis of student's feelings and attitudes inferred by their behaviour and response in the classroom environment. Hence Lash and Kirkpatrick (1990) concluded that in the absence of school programmes the major responsibility of working with children in the school rests with the teacher. Likewise, Maehr and Midgley (1991) affirm that what takes place in the classroom, even though the classroom itself is not an island, is critical. Therefore, depending on the degree of congruence with classroom practices and school environment, teachers teaching activities may dilute or enhance students' performance.

Effectiveness is the "what of change" while improvement is the "how of change" (Stoll and Fink 1996). Teacher motivation, therefore, is anything done to make teachers happy, satisfied, dedicated and committed in such a way that they bring out their best in their places of work so that both students, parents and the society will greatly benefit from their services.

Teachers have both intrinsic and extrinsic needs. A teacher who is intrinsically motivated may be observed to undertake a task for its own sake, for the satisfaction it provides or for the feeling of accomplishment and self-actualization. On the other hand, an extrinsically motivated teacher may perform the activity/duty in order to obtain some reward such as salary. Extrinsic motivation plays an important part in people's life. It is pre-eminent in influencing a person's behaviour. Therefore, the aim of the organization should be to build on and enhance the intrinsic motivation for teachers to teach effectively and at the same time, to supply some extrinsic motivation along the way for school improvement(O'neil, 1995).

Review of Literature

Educators are aware that reformers of education may establish new schools, effect changes in structure and curriculum, recommend and prescribe teaching methods and aids, in the end, the teacher will be solely responsible for applying them. Unfortunately, despite the obvious leading role teachers' play in school towards attaining educational objectives several authors including Ndu (1998), Ala-Adeyemi and Afolabi (1990) and the International Labour Organization (ILO, 1990) report lamented that the motivation of teachers had reached an intolerable low point. Rosa Mafia Torres, the Senior Education Adviser in UNICEF, declared that the condition of teachers had for too long become the most critical "Achilles heels" of educational development in our era.

Berelson and Steiner (1964), Tracy (2000) defined motivation as "all those inner striving conditions, described as wishes, desires, urges to stimulate the interest of a person in an activity. It is therefore an inner state that stimulates and triggers behaviour. Ukeje (1991), said, "motivation could make a mule dance". The relative incidence of specific behaviours, such as teaching and learning, discipline and control in schools could be undermined if teachers were not motivated.

Tolman (1958) referred to it as "an intervening variable", which Kerlinger (1973) identified as an internal and psychological processes that were not directly observable but which in turn accounted for behaviour.

According to Cole (1986) motivation is a term used to describe those processes, both initiative and rational by which people seek to satisfy the basic drives, perceived needs and personal goals, which trigger off human behaviour.

Robin (1989) describes motivation as the willingness to exert high levels of efforts towards organizational goals conditioned by the efforts ability to satisfy some individual needs.

In other words motivation is a management function that stimulates individuals to accomplish laid down institutional goals. It is purposive, designated and goal-oriented behaviour that involves certain forces acting on or within the individual in order to initiate, sustain and direct behaviour (Olochukwu, 1990).

Motivation could therefore be viewed as any force that would reduce tension, stress, worries and frustration arising from a problematic situation in a person's life. Where such incidence of tension, stress and worries are traceable to a work situation it might be referred to as negative organizational motivation. This latter aspect may be recalled easily with the acronym NORM. Teacher motivation could therefore be referred to as those factors that operate within the school system which if not made available to the teacher could hamper performance, cause stress, discontentment and frustration all of which would subsequently reduce classroom effectiveness and student quality output. This implies that teacher motivation includes factors that cause, channel, sustain and influence teachers' behaviour towards high management and academic achievement standards in schools.

Statement of Problem

Nwadiani (1998) acknowledged that schools in Nigeria are fast decaying. The "rot" in the system ranges from shortage of all teaching and learning resources, except students, to lack of effective leadership and proper motivation of teachers. Ozigi (1992) pointed out that teachers in Nigeria were unhappy, frustrated, uninspired and unmotivated. The school environment is dotted with dilapidated buildings equipped with outdated laboratory facilities and equipment. Teachers at times have to work under the most unsafe and unhealthy conditions. It is not unusual to find teachers and students interacting academically under collapsed school buildings. Likewise students are sometimes left with no option but to receive lessons under shades and open roofs while teachers make do with the little available outdated materials at their disposal to teach. This has no doubt, translated into teachers' low morale which in turn translated into students' poor performance in external examinations, their involvement in examination malpractice, cultism and other negative dispositions (Vices). The whole education system is a tale of woe. For example, in Edo, Anambra, Enugu and Imo States teachers have not been paid salary for between five and ten months. Yet every parent wants his child or children to acquire education and skills through teachers but apparently none seems to worry whether teachers can cater for their families, educate their children, settle health bills and contribute meaningfully to community development.

To successfully carry out the study the following research questions were raised and answered.

1. Would teacher motivation improve classroom effectiveness in Nigerian schools?

2. What specific teacher motivational factors would ascertain classroom effectiveness and improvement of Nigeria schools among male and female teachers?

Purpose of Study

Studies on motivation and its adaptation to classroom effectiveness and improvement of schools have not been conducted from the perspective of academic personnel (Teachers). The purpose of this study is to contribute to knowledge and to find out if teacher motivation would subsequently translate to classroom effectiveness and school improvement.

Significance of Study

At virtually every point in the growth and development of education in Nigeria we are ever reminded that the quality of education depends to a large extent on the quality of its teachers (Afe 2002, FGN, 1998). We are ever reminded of the magical feats of teachers as they transform educational objectives into knowledge, skill and educated human labour. With the rapid changes in the population, which is affecting the demographics of the schools in Nigeria, one is also reminded of the need to motivate teachers in order to produce the desired educational results. This is even more urgently necessary in this era of materialism and display of wealth in the face of wide spread poverty and decay in the country.

The assumption is that motivation will ensure high level of teacher effort towards meeting school objectives and improvement in all its ramifications.

Methodology

Population

All the teachers in the secondary and primary schools located in the South Eastern part of the country formed the population of the study.

Sample and Sampling Procedure

Seven hundred and Seventy two (772) public school teachers (primary and secondary) were selected to participate in the study. 525 (68%) and 247 (32%) were Secondary and Primary school teachers respectively. The stratified random sampling procedure was used to ensure that all schools in various locations (urban/rural) in the South Eastern part of the country were aptly represented. 486 (63%) female and 286 (37%) male teachers participated in the study. 564 (73%) of the teachers were from the urban schools while 208 (27%) were from the rural schools. All the teachers (100%) were professionals or certificated teachers in education. 502 (65%) were married while 270 (35%) were single.

Instruments

The instrument, designated Teacher Motivation Questionnaire (TMQ) used to collect data for the study had three parts: The first part was demographic data which sought information of variables such as gender, qualification and experience of teachers, location and type of schools. The second part contained directional response of Agreed and Disagreed. This was used to find out from teachers how and if teacher motivation would ascertain classroom effectiveness and improvement of quality and standard of schools.

In the third part an Inventory of Motivational Factors (IMF) was created by the researcher, and participants were requested to rate the motivational factors most likely to induce teachers towards classroom effectiveness and school improvement with responses of Very High, Moderate, Average and low. To adapt the survey instrument to the study, questionnaire items were sourced from previous surveys on improvement of learning such as Centra (1993) and Donald (1997).

Results

Table 1 presented the percentage and mean score response of secondary and primary school teachers who responded to the research question "would teacher motivation improve classroom effectiveness, standards and quality of Nigerian schools?

The result of the analysis of data revealed the following: A total average of 75.81% ([bar.X] = 3.03*) secondary and 75.5% ([bar.X] = 3.02*) primary school teachers indicated that teacher motivation would enhance classroom effectiveness, and improve standards and quality of schools in Nigeria.

86% ([bar.X] 3.4*) and 84.5% ([bar.X] = 3.3 (*)) respectively of secondary and primary school teachers agreed that Teacher Motivation is the secret of classroom effectiveness and school improvement while 96.3% ([bar.X] = 3.85*) and 90.1% ([bar.X] = 3.60*) respectively supported the notion that with motivation teachers would be more enthusiastic to control and discipline students.

Table 2 presented the percentage and mean scores of male, female, urban and rural teachers who identified some motivational factors that could influence teachers towards classroom effectiveness and school improvement. The analysis of data revealed that free education for children; leadership style and public image of teachers were rated low while regular payment of salary was rated highest amongst the other equally positive motivational factors.

Discussion

The result of the study confirmed the assumption that teacher motivation would enhance classroom effectiveness and improve schools. The data revealed that male teachers were as likely as female teachers, regardless of location or professional qualification to ascertain that teacher motivation would improve schools with regard to standard and quality of the school system, discipline and control of students. Teachers would be adequately motivated if salaries were paid regularly, teaching and learning facilities were made available, and put in place, if teachers were encouraged to attend sponsored conferences and workshops, and provided with a conducive working environment. It appears that the proportion of response in support of teacher motivation is a significant consistent finding that could be replicated across schools in other parts of the country.

The essence of working as a teacher is not only to produce educated and skilled people but also to make the teacher be in the position to meet financial obligations. "Man", as the saying goes, "does not live by bread alone". The problems caused by delays and inconsistencies in paying teachers' salaries had conflicted seriously with teacher classroom activities, which are expected to integrate students into the larger society.

The results of the study supported the view expressed by Ozigi (1992), Ndu (1998), Ala-Adeyemi and Afolabi (1990) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO 1996) that teacher motivation is very low and therefore should be enhanced for better educational results. The high percentage responses in table 1 & 2 suggest that teacher motivation is a viable factor for the growth and development of education in Nigeria. The results indicated that with motivation teachers pedagogical and management roles would be enhanced and subsequently translate into effective attainment of educational objectives.

Conclusion

Improvement might in this case, not mean the ultimate provision of adequate facilities and infrastructure but it would most likely bring about a change in teacher behaviour which would translate into optimal commitment in teaching, better student performance and general improvement of schools. The society might not be aware that the role of the teacher in schools calls for sacrifice, perseverance and tolerance; it implies self-control, discipline and respect for self and others. Therefore teachers need appropriate assistance to raise the academic tone of the school, reduce absenteeism and lack of commitment to work. Evidently with effective motivation, teachers would most likely avoid lackadaisical behaviours that may encourage using the "noble" profession as a stepping-stone for other professions.

The consequence of non-availability of teaching facilities is that no matter how energetic, enthusiastic and committed a teacher might be, his effort and level of performance might not produce the required result in students. Likewise a teacher's action to satisfy motive could be affected by the negative context of the school environment.

Motivation is a consistent factor that can be used across professions and other job situations. It would be useful for those who clamour for effectiveness and efficiency at work. This study recognizes the role of teacher motivation in ensuring classroom effectiveness and school improvement. Motivating teachers would ensure that there is effective instruction in the classroom and more collaboration in school management. Therefore a teacher needs not only adjustment and regular payment of salary and allowance but the right technology and facilities for effective classroom management and school improvement.

Recommendation

Among several other factors, teacher motivation should be included as part of working resources in the education system. Everyone today is concerned with education. Given the importance teachers play in molding students' character, values and morals it is important to see teachers as skilled workers rather than a "cheap" labour to achieve educational objectives. In this era of materialism, display of wealth and corruption in the face of widespread poverty teachers need to be adequately motivated so that they on their part would ensure a viable school system. Government, parents and the society should recognize and appreciate their efforts rather than accuse them for failures that are the obvious results of unfairness and injustice meted out to teachers. The impact of teacher motivation should be further studied and a method designed to bring out the best in teachers: Lack of motivation may lead to stress which eventually may translate to ineffective classroom management and school improvement.

References

Afe, John O. (2002) "Reflections on Becoming A Teacher and the Challenges of Teacher Education" Inaugural lecture series 64, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria.

Ala-Adeyemi, F.B.O. and Afolabi, F.O. (1990) "Job Satisfaction Among Primary School Teachers" in Udoh S.U; Akpan, G.O. and Gang, K.P. (eds) Towards Functional Primary Education in Nigeria. NAEAP: Jos, p.146

Berelson, B and Steiner, G.A. (1964). Human Behaviour: an Inventory of Scientific Findings, New York: Harcourt, Brace and World p.234.

Centra, J. (1993) Reflective Faculty Evaluation: Enhancing Teaching and Determining Faculty Effectiveness. Sam Francisco Jossy-Bass.

Cole, G.A. (2000) Management Theory and Practice, Lens Educational Aldine Place: London p. 28.

Donald, J.G. (1997) Improving the Environment of Learning: Academic Leaders Talk about What Works. Sam Francisco, Calif. Jossey-Bass.

Federal Government of Nigeria (1998) Reviewed National Policy on Education Lagos: Ministry of Education.

Kanu, O.C. (1997) "Teachers' Motivation as a Viable Option for the Survival of Nigerian Educational System". Journal of Quality Education Vol. 4 p. 31.

Kerlinger, F.N. (1993) Foundations of Behavioural Research, New York; Holt Rinehard and Winston Inc. p. 187.

Kim, Tracy (2000) "Intrinsic Motivation". Teachers Net Gazette Vol. 1 No 6

Maehr, Martin L. and Carol Midgley (1991) "Enhancing Student Motivation: A School wide Approach" Educational Psychology 26, 3 and 4, 399-427.

Nwadiani, Mon (1999) "Dystrophies in Higher Education: The Nigerian Experience". Higher Education Review. Vol. 3. No. 3 p. 17.

Oluchukwu, E.E. (2000) "Staff Motivation Towards Effective Job Performance in Nigerian Schools" Management in Nigerian Education: Personal Administration and Quality in Education. Fadipe, J.O. and Ojedele, P.K. (eds) Vol.3 p. 25-39.

Robbins, Stephens P. (1989) Organisational Behaviour Prentice-Hall Internal Inc. P. 184.

Tolman, E. (1958) Behaviour and Psychological Man. Berkeley, California: University of California Press.

Ukeje, B.O. (1991). The Education of Teachers for a New Social Order. The Nigerian Teacher. Vol. 1 No. 1 p.4.

DR (MRS) F. I. OFOEGBU Department of Educational Administration and Foundations University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria.
Table 1 Percentage and Mean Response of Primary and Secondary School
Teachers on Teacher Motivation and Classroom Effectiveness and School
Improvement.

                                         Secondary School Teachers
                                         N = 525

                                         Agree    Disagree   Mean

Teachers Motivation is the secret of     86%      14%        3.44 *
Classroom Effectiveness and school
improvement

Teachers motivation would improve        76.7%    23.3%      3.07 *
quality and standard of education

Motivation empowers teachers to take     61.8%    38.2%      2.47 *
management roles in the classroom
and in the school

Teacher motivation encourages            66.4%    33.6%      2.66 *
teachers to use strategies that would
discourage students to cheat and
withhold their efforts in learning.

Motivation brings out teacher            96.3%    3.7%       3.85 *
enthusiasm to control and discipline
students in the school

With motivation, teachers will more      78.3%    21.7%      3.13 *
readily encourage students to improve
their attitude towards their study.

Motivation encourages teachers to        88.3%    11.7%      3.53 *
make learning more interesting and
meaningful.

With motivation teachers will            68.5%    31.5%      2.74 *
evaluate students more objectively.

Teachers will display greater in-depth   66.5%    33.5%      2.66 *
and details in teaching subject if
properly motivated.

Teachers will be more tolerant with      69.3%    30.7%      2.87 *
the school environment.

Total Average                            75.8%    24.2%      3.03 *

                                         Primary School Teachers
                                         N = 247

                                         Agree    Disagree   Mean

Teachers Motivation is the secret of     84.5%    15.5%      3.38 *
Classroom Effectiveness and school
improvement

Teachers motivation would improve        80.3%    19.7%      3.21 *
quality and standard of education

Motivation empowers teachers to take     70.1%    29.9%      2.80 *
management roles in the classroom
and in the school

Teacher motivation encourages            68.5%    31.5%      2.74 *
teachers to use strategies that would
discourage students to cheat and
withhold their efforts in learning.

Motivation brings out teacher            90.1%     9.9%      3.60 *
enthusiasm to control and discipline
students in the school

With motivation, teachers will more      77.5%    22.54%     3.10 *
readily encourage students to improve
their attitude towards their study.

Motivation encourages teachers to        79.1%    20.9%      3.16 *
make learning more interesting and
meaningful.

With motivation teachers will            68.3%    31.7%      2.73 *
evaluate students more objectively.

Teachers will display greater in-depth   67.1%    32.9%      2.68 *
and details in teaching subject if
properly motivated.

Teachers will be more tolerant with      70%      30%        2.80 *
the school environment.

Total Average                            75.58%   24.42%     3.02 *

Table 2
Percentage rate of Male and Female, Urban and Rural Teachers Response
on Specific Motivational Factors that could Influence teachers towards
classroom effectiveness and school improvement

                           MALE TEACHERS N = 286

                           High    Moderate   Average    Low     Mean X

1 Regular payment of       100%       0%        0%        0%      4 *
  salary and other
  remuneration

2 Provision of adequate    89%       11%        0%        0%     3.56 *
  teaching facilities
  and equipment

3 Good welfare scheme      86%      12.5%       .5%       1%     3.44 *
  for teachers

4 Promotional aspects     69.5%     18.1%      2.4%      10%     2.76 *
  as compared with
  other work areas

5 Sponsored conference     68%       25%        3%        3%     2.72 *
  seminars and
  workshops

6 Conducive work           51%       30%       16.%      1.8%    2.04 *
  environment

7 Public image of the      31%       7.3%      21.7%     40%      1.24
  Teaching profession

8 Leadership Style         3.7%     5.07%      28.3%    62.93%    0.15

9 Free education for       2.5%     21.5%      17.3%    58.7%     0.1
  children

                           FEMALE TEACHERS N = 486

                           High    Moderate   Average    Low     Mean X

1 Regular payment of       78.5      21.5       0%       0 %     3.14 *
  salary and other
  remuneration

2 Provision of adequate    88%       10%        2%       0 %     3.52 *
  teaching facilities
  and equipment

3 Good welfare scheme     77.3%      18%       3.3%      1.4%    3.09 *
  for teachers

4 Promotional aspects      66%       25%        8%        1%     2.64 *
  as compared with
  other work areas

5 Sponsored conference    58.9%     33.7%      4.3%      3.1%    2.36 *
  seminars and
  workshops

6 Conducive work           51%      29.9%      7.8%     11.3%    2.04 *
  environment

7 Public image of the      46%       30%        15%      9.0%     1.84
  Teaching profession

8 Leadership Style         1.5%     17.7%       14%     66.8%     0.06

9 Free education for      28.3%     33.5%      19.7%    18.5%     1.13
  children

                           URBAN N = 564

                           High    Moderate   Average    Low     Mean X

1 Regular payment of       100%       0%        0%        0%      4 *
  salary and other
  remuneration

2 Provision of adequate    88%        0%        5%       15%     3.52 *
  teaching facilities
  and equipment

3 Good welfare scheme      96%       .0%        0%        4%     3.84 *
  for teachers

4 Promotional aspects      66%      21.3%      7.3%      5.4%    2.64 *
  as compared with
  other work areas

5 Sponsored conference    55.5%      30%       9.5%       5%      2.22
  seminars and
  workshops

6 Conducive work           59%       28%        13%       0%     2.36 *
  environment

7 Public image of the     48.5%     15.9%      20.1%    15.9%     1.94
  Teaching profession

8 Leadership Style         3.3%       0%       13.4%    83.3%     0.13

9 Free education for      18.7%     12.5%      10.1%    58.7%     .75
  children

                           RURAL N =208

                           High    Moderate   Average    Low     Mean X

1 Regular payment of       98%      0.0 %       2%        0%     3.92 *
  salary and other
  remuneration

2 Provision of adequate    99%       0.0%      0.0%       0      3.96 *
  teaching facilities
  and equipment

3 Good welfare scheme      96%        4%       0.0%       0%     3.84 *
  for teachers

4 Promotional aspects     78.5%     18.5%       3%        0      3.12 *
  as compared with
  other work areas

5 Sponsored conference     65%      28.5%      0.0%      6.5%    2.60 *
  seminars and
  workshops

6 Conducive work           65%      30.7%      4.3%       0      2.60 *
  environment

7 Public image of the      30%      21.5%      7.5%      41%      1.2
  Teaching profession

8 Leadership Style         0.0%      0.0%      13.5      86.5      0

9 Free education for      43.5%      0.0%       30%     26.5%     1.74
  children
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