Journal Article


Academics' perceptions of students' motivation for learning and their own motivation for teaching in a marketized higher education context

Abstract

Background. The marketisation of higher education (HE), which positions students as consumers and academics as service providers, may adversely affect students’ motivation for learning and academics’ motivation for teaching. According to self-determination theory (SDT), high-quality forms of motivation are achieved when individuals experience fulfilment of three psychological needs: competence, autonomy, and relatedness. Aims. This study applied SDT to examine academics’ perceptions of whether the marketized HE context in England, UK, supported or undermined these three psychological needs for their students and for themselves. It also examined their perceptions of the impact that this context had on their teaching. Sample. Participants were 10 academics teaching at five post-1992 higher education institutions in England, UK. Method. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and subsequently analyzed using thematic analysis. Results. Academics observed that students identifying as consumers seemed to display lower levels of competence, autonomy, and relatedness. This contributed to an HE environment that diminished the academics’ own psychological needs. Although some felt able to improve student motivation through their teaching, others felt demotivated and disempowered by top-down pressure from managers and bottom-up pressure from students. Conclusions. The marketized HE context may undermine high-quality motivation for students’ learning and academics’ teaching. Academics should be supported to teach in ways that facilitate competence, autonomy, and relatedness in their students and themselves.

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Authors

King, Naomi
Bunce, Louise

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development

Dates

Year of publication: 2019
Date of RADAR deposit: 2019-11-28



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