Advertisement

Journal of Educational Change

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 171–195 | Cite as

Teachers’ motivations for initiating innovations

  • Wendy Emo
Article

Abstract

This study explores the reasons why teachers introduce innovations into their teaching. Interviews were conducted with thirty teachers in primary, secondary, and university settings in one Midwestern USA community. All participants said they innovated due to a desire to improve student learning; other frequently mentioned reasons were professional development experiences of their own choosing and a desire to avoid personal boredom. Less frequently stated reasons to innovate included the failure of textbooks and experiences with another teacher or the participants’ own children. Implications for professional development include encouraging teachers to discover innovations applicable to their own classrooms through providing them with time and autonomy to develop alternative approaches to teaching curriculum.

Keywords

Boredom Innovation Professional identity Teacher autonomy Teacher motivation 

References

  1. airball. (2010, January 5). Re: Risk taking in the classroom Retrieved January 10, 2010, from http://chronicle.com/forums/index.php/topic,65556.0.html
  2. Bencze, L., & Hodson, D. (1999). Changing practice by changing practice: Toward more authentic science and science curriculum development. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 36(5), 521–539.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bryman, A. (1988). Quantity and quality in social research methods. London: Unwin Hyman.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Butt, R., & Townsend, D. (1990). Bringing reform to life: Teachers’ stories and professional development. Cambridge Journal of Education, 20(3), 255–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Connelly, F. M., & Clandinin, D. J. (1988). Teachers as curriculum planners: Narratives of experience. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  6. Craft, A. (2000). Creativity across the primary curriculum: Framing and developing practice. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  7. Curtis, P. (2009, January 5). Ofsted’s new mission—To get rid of boring teachers: ‘Dull’ teaching blamed for bad behaviour. The Guardian. Retrieved March 3, 2009, from http://current.com/1pu3m4c
  8. Davies, T. (2006). Creative teaching and learning in Europe: Promoting a new paradigm. The Curriculum Journal, 17(1), 37–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Day, C., & Gu, Q. (2010). The new lives of teachers. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Day, C., Sammons, P., Stobart, G., Kington, A., & Gu, Q. (2007). Teachers matter: Connecting lives, work, and effectiveness. Maidenhead, England: Open University Press.Google Scholar
  11. de Botton, A. (2007). The architecture of happiness: The secret art of furnishing your life. London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  12. Deci, E., & Ryan, R. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Emo, E. (2010). Teachers who initiate curriculum innovations: Motivations and benefits. Ph.D., University of York, York. Retrieved from http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/1136/
  14. Fullan, M. (1999). Change forces: The sequel. London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  15. Fullan, M. (2007). The new meaning of educational change (4th ed.). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  16. Fullan, M., & Hargreaves, A. (1992). Teacher development and educational change. In M. Fullan & A. Hargreaves (Eds.), Teacher development and educational change (pp. 1–9). London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  17. Goodson, I., & Hargreaves, A. (1996). Teachers’ professional lives: Aspirations and actualities. In I. Goodson & A. Hargreaves (Eds.), Teachers’ professional lives (pp. 1–27). London: Falmer Press.Google Scholar
  18. Grounauer, M.-M. (1993). Caution and years of experience (J. Neufeld, Trans.). In M. Huberman (Ed.), The lives of teachers (pp. 157–180). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  19. Halpin, D., Dickson, M., Power, S., Whitty, G., & Gewirtz, S. (2004). Curriculum innovation within an evaluative state: Issues of risk and regulation. The Curriculum Journal, 15(3), 197–206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Harder, H. (2010). Explanatory case study. In A. Mills, G. Durepos, & E. Wiebe (Eds.), Encyclopedia of case study research (pp. 371–372). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications Inc.Google Scholar
  21. Hargreaves, A., Earl, L., Moore, S., & Manning, S. (2001). Learning to change: Teaching beyond subjects and standards. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  22. Heshusius, L. (1994). Freeing ourselves from objectivity: Managing subjectivity or turning toward a participatory mode of consciousness? Educational Researcher, 23(3), 15–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Huberman, M. (1993). The lives of teachers (J. Neufeld, Trans.). London: Cassell.Google Scholar
  24. Jersild, A. (1955). When teachers face themselves. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  25. Jessness, J. (2002, July). Stand and deliver revisited. Retrieved from http://www.reason.com/news/show/28479.html
  26. Leonard, G. (1987). Education and ecstasy with “the great school reform hoax” (2nd ed.). Berkeley: North Atlantic Books.Google Scholar
  27. Lortie, D. C. (1975). Schoolteacher. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  28. Malone, T. W., & Lepper, M. R. (1987). Making learning fun: A taxonomy of intrinsic motivations for learning. In R. E. Snow & M. J. Farr (Eds.), Aptitude, learning, and instruction (Vol. 3, pp. 223–253)., Conative and affective process analyses Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  29. Martin, A., & Dowson, M. (2009). Interpersonal relationships, motivation, engagement, and achievement: Yields for theory, current issues, and educational practice. Review of Educational Research, 79(1), 327–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50, 370–396.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. McGowan, W., & Graham, C. (2009). Factors contributing to improved teaching performance. Innovative Higher Education, 34(3), 161–171. doi: 10.1007/s10755-009-9103-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Nieto, S. (Ed.). (2005). Why we teach. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  33. No child left behind 2009 report card. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.doe.sd.gov/reportcard/listnew/?p=1
  34. Pyhältö, K., Pietarinen, J., & Soini, T. (2014). Comprehensive school teachers’ professional agency in large-scale educational change. Journal of Educational Change, 15(3), 303–325. doi: 10.1007/sl10833-013-9215-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ritchie, S. M., & Rigano, D. M. (2002). Discourses about a teacher’s self-initiated change in praxis: Storylines of care and support. International Journal of Science Education, 24(10), 1079–1094.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rosenholtz, S., & Simpson, C. (1990). Workplace conditions and the rise and fall of teachers’ commitment. Sociology of Education, 63(4), 241–257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Schulz, E. (1994). Maine attraction: Nancie Atwell. In R. Wolk & B. H. Rodman (Eds.), Classroom crusaders: Twelve teachers who are trying to change the system (pp. 128–146). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  38. Seidman, I. (2006). Inteviewing as qualitative research: A guide for researchers in the social sciences (3rd ed.). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  39. Skaalvik, E. M., & Skaalvik, S. (2010). Teacher self-efficacy and teacher burnout: A study of relations. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26(4), 1059–1069. doi: 10.1016/j.tate.2009.11.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sleegers, P. (1999). Professional identity, school reform, and burnout: Some reflections on teacher burnout. In R. Vandenberghe & A. M. Huberman (Eds.), Understanding and preventing teacher burnout: A sourcebook of international research and practice (pp. 247–255). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Turner, J. E., Waugh, R. M., Summers, J. J., & Grove, C. M. (2009). Implementing high-quality educational reform efforts: An interpersonal circumplex model bridging social and personal aspects of teachers’ motivation. In P. A. Schutz & M. Zembylas (Eds.), Advances in teacher emotion research (pp. 253–272). London: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Waller, W. (1932/1961). The sociology of teaching. New York: Russell and Russell. (Original work published in 1932)Google Scholar
  43. Wolk, R., & Rodman, B. H. (Eds.). (1994). Classroom crusaders: Twelve teachers who are trying to change the system. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  44. Yin, R. K. (2014). Case study research: Design and methods (5th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications Inc.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Elementary Education, College of EducationUniversity of MinnesotaMorrisUSA

Personalised recommendations