School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Gary Kuhne


Elementary, Teachers, Motivation, Administrators, Intrinsic Motivation, Extrinsic Motivation


Education | Elementary Education | Elementary Education and Teaching


The purpose of the study was to compare elementary teachers’ and elementary administrators’ perceptions of teacher motivation. By identifying that differences exist between elementary teachers’ and elementary administrators’ perceptions of what motivates teachers, it allows for administrators to gain a better understanding and possibly design more effective strategies for enhancing teacher motivation. Additionally, it opens the door for further studies, not only with elementary teachers and administrators, but at the middle and high school levels as well. This study used a quantitative methodology with a causal comparative design. The sample population came from two school districts in South Carolina, the Alpha School District (ASD, a pseudonym) and the Beta School District (BSD, a pseudonym). The ASD contained a mix of rural, suburban, and urban stakeholders while the BSD was rural. The sample included 251 elementary teachers and 31 administrators from twelve schools in the two districts who completed the Teacher Motivation and Job Satisfaction Survey (TMJS) electronically through Survey Monkey. The sample size for this study included a total of 282 participants. All data was collected by Survey Monkey. Overall statistical comparisons of elementary teachers’ and administrators’ perceptions of teacher motivation and comparisons of teacher motivation as delineated by gender were analyzed with independent samples t-tests. Comparisons of teachers based on their length of service were analyzed with ANOVA’s. Results indicated statistically significant differences between elementary teachers’ and administrators’ perceptions of teacher motivation. Results indicated no difference in perceptions of motivation for either gender or length of service. Implications for practice and recommendations for future studies are included.