Date of Thesis

5-2-2014

Thesis Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Type

Master of Science in Education

First Advisor

Candice R. Stefano

Abstract

There is always a driving force behind our actions in any given situation. In 2000, NCLB instituted accountability testing with strict requirements for all schools in the U.S., hoping to motivate teachers to reach higher levels of instruction by using sanctions or rewards against teachers when standards were not met. However, Deci and Ryan¿s (2000) SDT explains that fostering intrinsic motivation and providing autonomy support for an individual results in more effective outcomes and increased satisfaction. Private and public school teachers in PA were surveyed using the Work Climate Questionnaire and the Work Task Motivation Scale for Teachers to examine differences in self-reported motivation and perceived autonomy support in order to investigate if the use of high-stakes accountability testing (HST) is related to decreased teacher motivation. The results from ANOVAs and correlations indicate differences in self-reported motivation levels of teachers in public and private schools, as well as aid ratio, grade taught, number of years in teaching, and the time the participant responded (before or after the PSSA), as well as perceived autonomy support, suggesting that the presence of HST may influence motivation in teachers.

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