Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Chair

Thelma Roberson

Committee Chair Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 2

David Lee

Committee Member 2 Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 3

Chuck Benigno

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 4

J.T. Johnson

Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Studies and Research


The purpose of this study was to determine if Mississippi’s teachers teach for the same motivational reasons that athletes practice their sport. Certified teachers (N=380) from Mississippi were asked to complete a modified version of the Sport Motivation Scale-II (SMS-II) survey. This modified version of the instrument, the SMS-II-ED, included 18 questions from 6 different extrinsic, intrinsic, and a-motivational subgroups and one qualitative question for a total of 19 questions. Preliminary demographic items included teacher’s grade level taught (K-5, 6-8, 9-12), years’ experience (1-10, 11-19, 20+), and previous high school or collegiate sport participation (yes or no).

Descriptive statistics were calculated for each of the variables and a between subjects MANOVA was used to analyze potential differences between each of the independent variables (grade level taught, years’ of experience, previous sport participation) and the dependent variables (six subgroups of motivation: intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation identified, extrinsic motivation introjected, extrinsic motivation external, extrinsic motivation integrated, and a-motivation). Cronbach’s alpha coefficients were calculated for each motivational subgroup to verify reliability.

The results of the study showed that there were no significant differences between the teachers’ grade level taught or years’ experience and the manner in which they were most motivated. Pillai’s Trace test found that there was a significant difference between the surveyed teachers who previously participated in sport and their peers who did not on the three survey items within the extrinsic motivation integrated subgroup. These three items were question four, because teaching reflects the essence of whom I am, question 11, because teaching is an integral part of my life, and question 14, because through teaching, I am living in line with my deepest principles.

Overall, the teachers of Mississippi placed scores on the 1-7 Likert-type scaled survey in nearly the exact order from most to least autonomous, in line with Deci & Ryan’s (1991) self-determination theory, which the instrument was originally based upon. It seems that the teachers of Mississippi teach for intrinsic reasons, and are not a-motivated towards teaching, which is exceptional news from an administrative standpoint. Motivational ideas that could possibly connect the 180 days that Mississippi school teachers teach with the closely related MLB season are included, as well as recommendations for educational administrative practices and future research.