Perceptions of Teacher Motivation By Teachers and Administrators In a Rural Southeastern State

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Educational Leadership and School Counseling

First Advisor

Clyde Ginn

Advisor Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling


This study examined the factors that motivate teachers to improve their performance and the perceptions of teacher motivation by both teachers and the administrators of these teachers. The researcher examined intrinsic and extrinsic factors to determine if a statistically significant difference exists between the perceptions of teachers and administrators in South Mississippi school districts. The sample population consisted of 118 administrators and 382 teachers from elementary, middle, and high schools in a rural Southeastern state. Participants responded to a survey and open-ended questionnaire. Administrators and teachers were also asked to complete an open-ended questionnaire and a 32 item survey on teacher motivation. Results indicate that administrators and teachers believed "an open, supportive principal" was the most motivating extrinsic factor. Both groups indicated that "having needed materials" was the second most motivating extrinsic factor. The third most motivating extrinsic factor judged by both groups was "the atmosphere of the school setting." Teachers indicated that "easy hours" was the least motivating extrinsic factor. Perceptions of motivation concerning intrinsic factors varied between teachers and administrators. Administrators perceived that "knowing what is expected" was more motivating than other intrinsic factors. Teachers however, indicated that "love for children" was the most motivating intrinsic factor. "Influence of former teacher" was the least motivating intrinsic factor on the survey. Findings indicated that there is a statistically significant difference in perceptions of teachers and administrators concerning intrinsic scores, but no statistically significant difference in perceptions of teachers and administrators concerning extrinsic scores. A statistically significant difference was found in perceptions of South Mississippi public school teachers and administrators on individual motives divided into intrinsic and extrinsic categories. Statistically significant differences were found in the following individual motives: salary, time off/holidays, peer recognition, parent recognition, parent involvement, effective staff development, pride in work, professional growth, supportive principals, shared responsibility with peers, school-based performance awards, teacher mentoring, and having needed materials. Results are discussed in relation to previous literature and the use of these data for administrators.