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Surveys on Students’ and Teachers’ Motivation

The questions of motivation and belief in the positive results are very important in all kinds of activities. Using quantitative methods of educational research, and survey research in particular, is to increase the evidence of a significant relationship between the level of inner and outer motivation and the results achieved.

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Byer (2000) researched a statistically significant relationship between the students’ self-concept, their absences, and academic achievements, using a Pearson test and a multiple correlation test. The relationship between the motivation-related variable of academic self-concept and academic achievement proved to be positive, while the relationship between the number of absences and achievements proved to be negative. As quoted in Byer’s work (2000) Pajares (1996) concluded that “academic self-concept was a consistently strong predictor of academic achievement” (p. 5). Though Byer (2000) admits that the extent to which the educators and parents can influence motivation-related variables, increasing the academic achievements correspondingly, is questionable, the significant relationship can not be denied. Love (2003) researched the impact of the teacher’s collective belief in the students’ success on the academic achievements, contributing the results of the quantitative research. The author emphasizes the importance of the teacher’s being culturally congruent for the process of effective learning. Love (2003) notes that “It is the collective belief that all children can succeed that may make a significant difference in children’s achievement levels when the majority are low-income and students of color” (p. 11). With the goal of researching the most effective ways for increasing the teachers’ competency different types of surveys may be conducted. Mertler (2003) investigated advantages and disadvantages of web-based and paper-and-pencil surveys. It was concluded that electronic surveys may save time and costs, but access to them may be complicated due to technical problems and/or technology il-literacy as well as the teachers’ reluctance to spend time on it prevented from participating in the survey. Thus, this research implies the importance of the teachers’ literacy, self-education and self-motivation.

The results of the quantitative research concerning motivation and belief in success inspire confidence and motivate me for further self-education. It is very important to pay enough attention not only to the plans of the lessons, but to the motivation of the students as well. Taking into consideration the psychological and cultural peculiarities of every student, educators should use a personal approach to every student. Survey research could be used to inspect the peculiarities of some certain classes and get the picture of the relationships observed in some concrete environment. Feeling responsibility for the students’ achievements, the teacher is to take pains to motivate the learners using different methods or even tricks, like prizes or illustrated calendars of absence. The educators’ work never ends after the bell rings. It is very important not only to conduct a lesson but to create a supportive atmosphere for its effectiveness as well.

Demonstrating the results of practical application of the survey researches, the works under analysis prove the effectiveness of this quantitative method of educational research, under the condition that the survey was conducted observing all the rules. At the same time Mertler (2003) provides the evidence concerning the possible disadvantages of the web-based surveys, which could be hardly predicted without the survey research.

The class discussion influenced my thinking on this topic, reminding that all scientific data requires evidence, while the figures inspire confidence. Survey research is an effective method of gathering the necessary information for examining the relationships between psychological and sociological variables.

Reference List

Byer, J. (2000). The effects of absences and academic self-concept an academic achievement in two eleventh-grade U.S. history classes. The Annual Meeting of the Mid South Educational Research Association, Bowling Green, KY.

Gay, L., Airasian, P. (2002). Educational Research: Competencies for Analysis and Applications. Atlanta, GA: Prentice Hall.

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Love, A. (2003). The relationship between teachers’ beliefs and student achievement in two primarily African American urban elementary schools. The Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.

Mertler, C. (2003). What…Another survey??? Patterns of response and nonresponse from teachers to traditional and web surveys. The Annual Meeting of the Mid-Western Educational Research Association, Columbus, OH.

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