Education Project Topics

An Assessment of Motivational Theories and the Achievement of Secondary School Teachers




The activation or energization of goal-oriented behavior is what we refer to as motivation. One might say that motivation is either internal or extrinsic. The phrase “some form of internal drive that propels someone to do things in order to accomplish something” is how the concept of “motivation” is often described (Haminer, 2021). According to Brown (2020), the level of motivation an individual has is one of the primary factors that determines whether or not a hard activity is completed successfully. During their discussion on motivation, steers and Porter (2019) address the following three issues:

1. What motivates people to behave in certain ways?

2. What factors or influences guide or drive such behavior?

3. What factors contribute to the perpetuation of this behavior

Individuals believe that motivation is the driving force behind “why people decide to undertake something, how long they are willing to continue the activity, and how hard they are going to pursue it.” [Citation needed] (Dornyei 2022). According to Ryan and Deci (2018), “to be motivated implies to be moved to do something.” In contrast to uninspired individuals, who have lost the urge and inspirations to act, motivated people are energized and active all the way through the completion of a job. According to Steer and Porter (2019), the following are some characteristics that may be used to motivation:

1. prerequisites or anticipated results

2.       Behaviour

3. The objectives and the

4. Some kind of response or feedback.


Teaching is described as “an vocation with a very high turnover rate, and the graying workforce is merely a piece of the issue” by Richard Ingersoll, a sociologist at the University of Georgia (Lawrence, 2019). The essence of professionalism is motivation. In point of fact, human resources are the most precious asset that schools may have in order to be able to deliver excellent education, and the success of educational institutions is dependent on the quality, dedication, and performance of the people who work there (Heyness 2020). The teacher is the most valuable member of the institution’s staff in terms of their contribution to the institution’s ability to fulfill its primary purpose (Kruger &Van Schalkroyt, 2017). The teacher is the practitioner in the classroom who works full time, and the primary job of the teacher is more instructional in nature than administrative. According to Barmby (2016), instructors carry out their duties for three primary reasons: altruistic motivation, intrinsic motivation, and extrinsic motivation. However, the motives for selecting the profession as a vocation are largely tied to altruistic and intrinsic impulses (Moran, Kilpatrick, Abbott, Dallat, and Mechine). [Citation needed] Not only do you need to have the abilities necessary, but you also need to be excellent, have a lot of inner power, and have a strong spirit in order to keep your whole-hearted enthusiasm for teaching and leading (Jackson & Jackson, 2019).

The way in which a teacher approaches their profession is directly related to their level of motivation. According to Traey (2020), the term “motivation” refers to “all of those inner starving circumstances, characterized as wants or impulses that increase the interest of a person of professionals and are passionate and entirely devoted to teaching.” In this regard, Steyn (2022) identified the following signs of a morale that is closely related to effective motivation: excellent performance and the consistent achievement of results, a positive attitude regarding problem solving, and a willingness to accept responsibility and accommodate change. All of these factors are closely related to effective motivation. Because of this, the organization’s vision, purpose, and objectives will be more effectively realized, which will be a contribution.

Therefore, there is also an effective culture of teaching and learning in schools that are successful because such schools have instructors who are motivated and highly devoted to their jobs. When they have a positive attitude, teachers are more likely to be motivated in their profession. They experience positive emotions when the administrators steer clear of “professional myopia” and when the instructors do not operate in an environment that is intolerant of compromise. In this scenario, the ideas that teachers have regarding their jobs incorporate ethical, epistemological, affective professional, economic, and egocentric considerations, which shape their perspectives on equity and justice, pedagogy and androgogy, organizational efficiency, interpersonal relations, collegiality, and self-conception and self-image (Euacns, 2021). This suggests that teachers are motivated when there is a “teacher-cantered approach to educational leadership,” which is when the principal, in his or her role as an educational leader, goes above and beyond his or her management responsibilities to try to meet the needs of as many individuals as they can and leads the teachers with considerable care, a positive attitude, and an interest in their welfare. The implementation of this strategy results in the creation of a working environment that is supported by a professional culture that emphasizes tolerance, cooperation, compromise, and care for the instructors. Sergiouanni (2018) refers to this method as the “pedagogical leadership” method. It is difficult to persuade teachers to put their hearts and souls into their work in today’s world, which is marked by an increase in the number of expectations placed upon them, as well as an increase in the number of contexts in which there is an increased tendency toward a breakdown of the culture of teaching and learning as a result of increasingly persuasive societies (Murthy, 2022).


According to Johnson (2016), there are three distinct theories of motivation and productivity that serve as the foundation for the concept of teacher motivation. These ideas are as follows:

1. The expectation theory states that a person is more likely to put in extra effort at work when there is an anticipated payoff in the form of a bonus or promotion that is worth striving for.

2. The principle of equity states that individuals would be dissatisfied with their lives if they are subjected to unfair treatment for the efforts and achievements they have made.

3. The job enrichment idea states that instructors will become more productive if the work they do is both more demanding and more diversified.

The primary sources of motivation for teachers come from inside themselves, and include things like respect, responsibility, and a feeling of success.

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Therefore, administrators may raise morale and drive teachers to achieve by using participatory governance, in-service education, and systematic, supportive assessment. There is no broad and complete theory of motivation since it is psychologically complicated. It is necessary to analyze the performance of teachers at all of the secondary schools in order to properly assess teacher performance. The framework for evaluating the performance of teachers is provided by the assessment method and the corresponding instrument. The execution of this technique in an impartial and fair manner will allow for the identification of performance strengths and areas in need of development.

It is necessary to establish specific performance criteria in order to conduct an accurate evaluation of the performance of teachers in secondary schools; these performance criteria will serve as the basis for the evaluation of teachers’ performances in elementary schools. This information will be conveyed to the instructor in a positive manner, and via interactions, a professional growth plan will be built to assist and improve the instructor’s professional development. The assessment of the performance of the teachers at the school site is within the purview of the principal. However, the principal might choose to hand over the job to his or her assistant if they so want. In Nigeria, external supervisors from the different ministries and boards of education are able to evaluate the teaching performance of their staff members.


It is generally accepted that the resources of either the Ministry of Education or the government are insufficient to meet the demands and agitation of teachers. As a direct consequence of this, the government of Nigeria and the Nigerian Union of Teachers (N.U.T) are in a state of perpetual impasse about the issue of raising teacher pay and benefits as well as improving their working conditions (Sergiouanni, 2018). During the meeting of the National council on Education (N.C.E) that took place in Kano in 2002, the federal and state governments of Nigeria argued in Nigerian that the current economic climate in the country is unable to support the demanded increase in salaries, benefits, and improvements in working conditions. This was stated during the meeting in Nigerian. In particular, they say that the expectations placed on teachers are beyond the capabilities of the government (Johnson , 2016).

The viewpoint of the government with regard to the job performance of educators, in which they accuse educators of neglect, laziness, willful lethargy, and a lack of passion and desire to work among other things. In addition, they contend that the ongoing demand for a higher income, more incentives, and improved working conditions by teachers is not required due to the instructors’ high level of efficiency and effectiveness. While teachers argue that the current salary structure, benefits, and working conditions do not satisfy their basic needs, they point out that other sectors of the economy have much larger and more attractive salary structures, as well as better motivation, better teacher performances, and enhanced working conditions. This is in contrast to the teachers’ position, which states that the current salary structure, benefits, and working conditions do not satisfy their basic needs (Murthy, 2022). They believe that the economy of Nigeria is not adequately balanced, which is the reason why their requests are being thwarted, which in turn affects their performance. This study therefore takes it upon itself to study the motivational theories and secondary school teacher performance in the selected area.


The general objectives of the study is to investigate motivational theories and the achievement of secondary school teachers . The specific objectives includes:

i.          To examine the relevance of motivation on the achievement of secondary school teachers.

ii.        To find out the whether understanding the needs of teachers will influence the achievement of secondary school teachers

iii.      To recommend ways of motivating teachers in other for the achievement of  secondary school teachers.


The following questions have been formulated for the study:

i.          What  is the relevance of motivation on the achievement of secondary school teachers?

ii.        Does  understanding the needs of teachers will influence the achievement of secondary school teachers?

iii.      What are the recommend ways of motivating teachers in other for the achievement of  secondary school teachers?


The relevance of this research may be seen in how far it supports or refutes prior claims about motivation and teacher performance amongst Nigeria teachers and, if possible, teachers around the world. Prominently, Nigerian teachers referred to in this study are secondary school teachers. Finally, the empirical findings from this study would help in describing or explaining the pivotal role of motivation on the needs satisfaction of Nigerian teachers in line with other theories that are reviewed in this work. The result of this study would also help educationist and policy makers in emphasizing the need for the inclusion of motivational packages for teachers so as to prepare them for better performance.


The study will examine the relevance of motivation on the achievement of secondary school teachers. The study will also find out the whether understanding the needs of teachers will influence the achievement of secondary school teachers. Lastly, the study will recommend ways of motivating teachers in other for the achievement of  secondary school teachers. Hence, this study will be delimited to Akwa Ibom State.


Just like any other research, unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, and inability to get data were among the constraints the researcher encountered in the cause of this study. Financial constraint was equally faced by  the researcher, in getting relevant materials  and  in printing and collation of questionnaires. Furthermore, time factor pose another constraint because the researcher have to shuttle between writing of the research and engaging in other academic work which made it uneasy for the researcher.


Motivation: a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way.

Achievement: a thing done successfully with effort, skill, or courage.


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