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the impact of teachers’ motivation on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Enugu Education Zone

Project topic for Education department.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

          Education has been considered as the cornerstone for development. It is largely a matter of a learning process that involves interaction between the teacher and learners. It is a process by which abilities and capabilities of individuals are developed. It can also be seen as the actualization of human potential so that the individual can become more than what he was before. Education is highly recognized as the fundamental basis upon which any nation could function effectively. Its social, political and economic viability depends solely on the qualitative education given to her citizen. Hence a country is said to be technologically developed, if majority of her populace are well educated.

          Therefore, those that mould character and impart the needed knowledge must be motivated because according to Cheng (2012), motivation is the power that triggers action that follows. Hence it is believed that a motivated teacher always complete the task set before him even when such tasks are difficult or seem uninteresting.

            However, the pertinent question that may arise is what is motivation? Motivation is a broad concept (De Cooman et.al. 2011).It is generally regarded as an important component of success in school and at work. Motivation provides the fuel to ignite abilities and transform them into achievement. Although natural talent or giftedness predicts academic and career success, motivation is the catalyst that allows ability to be harnessed to accomplish great success. Even when endowed with natural talent or potential, without adequate motivation, gifted teachers are unable to fully develop their talents.

          The word motivation can be traced to a Latin word “movere” which means to move. So, motivation can mean the internal drive necessary to guide people’s action and behaviors toward achievement of some goals. It is what prompts a person to act in a certain way. If one must move, something must have to compel, force or drive the person to do that, which this study classifies as motivation.

          Motivation according to Huang & Tschopp (2010), is anything that drives and sustains attention, relevance, confidence and satisfaction. Motivation is a central and vital component which is a key contributor in job satisfaction of an employee. There is no doubt that efficiency suffers, if workers are not motivated.

          In the Merriam-Website dictionary, motivation is defined as the act or process of giving someone a reason to doing something. Motivation is the “want-to” component of individuals’ actions (King and Teo 2012).

          Ozochi (2014) defined motivation as anything that stimulates peoples to act, to achieve in a better way any stated objective. From the words “motive” meaning aim and “motivate” meaning activate, the word motivation is therefore a process of activating our aim. In the absence of motivation, ability or potential cannot be transformed into performance. Therefore, ability without motivation is like wind without a windmill. Achievement or performance in any domain requires ability and motivation (Ackerman 2014).

          Motivation can have several effects on how students learning and their behavior towards a subject matter. Motivation of teachers leads to increase in efficiency and increases initiation of persistence in activities. Satisfied teachers are generally more productive and can influence students’ achievement (Aacha, 2010). Motivated teachers always look for better ways to do their job. Therefore it means that motivated teachers are determined to give in their best to achieve their maximum output.

          There are many strategies of motivation. Motivation can be in the form of regular payment of salaries, free accommodation, extra teaching allowances, advance payment in case of financial problems, leave of absence, career development and free medical care. Any teacher that enjoys the afore mentioned items is bound to give in all his best in discharging his duties because according to Harmon-Jones (2010), motivation is the stage that triggers the whole decision process.

          Teachers’ motivation naturally has to do with teachers’ attitude to work. It has to do with teachers desire to participate in the pedagogical process within the school environment. It involves teachers’ interest in students’ discipline and control particularly in the classroom.

          The teacher is one who translates educational philosophy and objective into knowledge and skills and transfers them to students in the classroom. In as much as a motivated teacher is crucial to a successful classroom, classroom climate also plays an important role in motivating teachers. If a teacher perceives the classroom as a safe, healthy and happy place with supportive resources and facilities for teaching, he or she will tend to participate more than expected in the process of management, administration and the overall improvement of the school .On the other hand, a motivated teacher will look at teaching through a different lens, and in doing so, motivate his students in their learning too. Motivation also helps to drive creativity and curiosity, sparking the desire needed for students to want to learn more. Therefore, depending on the degree of relationship between classroom environment and a teacher, teaching activities may dilute or enhance students’ performance.

          Performance is “the degree to which objective is achieved and the extent to which targeted problems are solved”, while improvement is “the process of moving from one state to a state considered to be better usually through some actions intended to bring about that state”. In the light of these, motivation of teachers will, to a great extent improve the academic achievement of the students because when teachers are motivated, they will be dedicated, satisfied and committed in such a way that they bring out the best in them.

          Motivation guides the direction, intensity and persistence of performance and can be categorized into intrinsic and extrinsic (Cerasoli et al, 2014). Extrinsic motivation leads to engagement when material or social considerations are expected. Contrarily, when intrinsically motivated, employees perform tasks out of interest and enjoyment for its own sake (Amabile and Pratt, 2016). Nevertheless, it cannot be assumed that teachers are always intrinsically motivated as relatively few people find their jobs interesting enough to work without getting paid or receiving other rewards in return. In order to enhance creativity and innovation deliberately, extrinsic motivators must also be considered. Extrinsic motivators can add positively to intrinsic motivators and other outcomes. Therefore, if teachers are to a great extent extrinsically motivated, they will intrinsically motivate their students which in turn improve the academic achievement of the students.

Teachers’ motivation to undertake a task depends on their expected reward. Efficient teaching and moral will take place when there is strong motivation in term of wage and innovation from both employers, also the student’s performance in mathematics some time many serve as a motivation for the teacher in other to perform efficient in the subject. This motivation may be aroused by either extrinsic on intrinsic stimuli both of which are important in directing and regulating the learner’s behaviour towards achievement of the desire goals. Teachers must therefore be motivated through various ways which may include the organization of seminars and workshop up grading test, performance appraisal, timely payment of salary and wage, providing the required physical facilities like laboratories and verbal encouragements for student etc. This would go a long way in motivating the teachers which will in turn. Improvising the students’ performance in academics

Teachers’ expectations can have a powerful effect on students’ achievement. Standards should therefore be set high enough to challenge them to do their best. To motivate, managers require sustainable approaches and skills to maintain teachers’ enthusiasm and commitment. An important point to note is that different people posses different behavior because their needs and goals vary. So, different people may require different levels or kinds of motivation. Governments’ regular payment of teachers’ salaries, promotion of teachers and in-service training of teachers’ salaries affect students’ academic performance. It is on this note that the present study seeks to examine the impact of teachers’ motivation on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Enugu Education Zone.

Statement of the Problem

          It is generally accepted that the competence and commitment of teachers should be the most important determinants of learning outcomes. The ultimate goal of teaching is to develop learners’ behaviors. Motivation is one of the instruments that will enable the teacher to accomplish this goal. Motivation enables teachers to achieve the aim and objectives of their lessons, make teaching interesting, enable students participate in the lesson as well as encourage teachers to deliver their lessons within the shortest possible time.

          Despite the importance of teachers’ motivation on students’ academic achievement, it’s a pity that most school heads and administrators find it difficult to motivate teachers. The absence of motivation has a negative effect on the standard of education. School systems in Nigeria are fast decaying. The ‘rot’ in the system ranges from shortage of all teaching and learning resources to lack of proper motivation of teachers. Teachers in Nigeria are unhappy frustrated and uninspired. 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 interacting academically under collapsed school buildings or shade of trees.

          All these have no doubt translated into low morale on the part of teachers who prefer to opt out in search for greener pastures. This in turn affects the academic performance of students to a great extent. It is this problematic situation that prompted the researcher to conduct a study to on the impact of teachers’ motivation on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Enugu Education Zone.      

Purpose of the Study

          The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of teachers’ motivation on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Enugu Education Zone. Specifically, it tends:

  • Determine the impact of governments’ regular payment of teachers’ salaries on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Enugu Education Zone.
  • Ascertain the impact of promotion of teachers on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Enugu Education Zone.
  • Verify the impact of in-service training of teachers’ salaries on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Enugu Education Zone.

Significance of the Study

          Given the important role played by education in human development, the result of this research, if well adopted and implemented would be beneficial to the Ministry of Education officials, Post Primary Education Board, stakeholders in the educational sector, policy makers, teachers, the government, parents, students as well as the society in the following ways;

          Firstly, the Ministry of Education officials, Post Primary School Management Board (PPSMB) and Zonal Education Board will find this work useful, as it will provide them with information on ways of making teachers more productive. As the agencies saddled with the responsibility of managing educational standards, the knowledge gained here serves as a guide toward improving teachers’ efficiency.

Also, stake holders in the education sector, policy makers and teachers will in like manner, benefit from this research as they will understand how every of their action or inaction influence the academic achievement of students.

More so, the government of Nigeria at all levels will find this very relevant as a solution to the incessant problems in the educational sector. As such, the right policies will be fashioned from the knowledge gained from this research for positive achievement of students.

The study will also be of immense benefit to the students who will have greater chance of attaining maximum heights in their academic achievement when teachers are adequately motivated.

Parents/guardians stands to benefit from the study since the motivation of teachers will automatically improve teaching and learning and thereby improving their children academic performance.

Society in general will be enlightened through the motivational strategies provided to the teachers in teaching and learning.

Finally, this research will serve as a reference point for further research. It will also add to the existing body of knowledge in this area.

Scope of the Study

          The study borders on the impact of teachers’ motivation on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Enugu Education Zone with a view to determine; the impact of governments’ regular payment of teachers’ salaries on students’ academic performance in secondary schools, the impact of promotion of teachers on students’ academic performance in secondary schools and the impact of in-service training of teachers’ salaries on students’ academic performance in secondary schools, all in Enugu Education Zone.

Research Questions

          As a guide to the study, the following research questions were raised;

  • What are the impacts of governments’ regular payment of teachers’ salaries on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Enugu Education Zone?
  • What are the impacts of promotion of teachers on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Enugu Education Zone?
  • What are the impacts of in-service training of teachers’ salaries on students’ academic performance in secondary schools in Enugu Education Zone?

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