22 SES 12 A, Motivation is Important for Excellence in Higher Education, Isn’t It?!
Motivation influences pedagogical approaches, especially when teaching academically gifted honors students (e.g. Pelletier et al. 2002). However, systematic research about motivation for honors teaching is scarce. This study is part of a project that explores the differences between American and Dutch teaching for excellence. 440 honors teachers with 114 different affiliations completed a questionnaire. Elements of the “Intrinsic Motivation Inventory” were adapted to fit the context of the study (e.g. Deci et al. 1994). Descriptive analysis was conducted and the independent t-test was employed to look for differences between teachers’ motivation in both countries. Statistical analysis showed that a cluster of seven items holds a reliable scale for teachers’ self-determination. For American results, the scale Meanscore holds 4.2 (range: 4.1-4.4), while Dutch results differ. T-tests show that the intrinsic motivation of Dutch teachers may be high, but sill lower than that measured among American honors teachers. Generally, faculty in both countries are motivated to teach honors students, benefiting from designing honors pedagogies. However, a higher level of motivation among Dutch teachers was expected, given that Dutch honors education is in an earlier stage of development. The outcomes may have implications for the way honors teachers are selected in both countries.
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