The instrumental motivation of teachers: implications of high-stakes accountability for professional learning

Proudfoot, Kevin ORCID logo ORCID: and Boyd, Pete ORCID logo ORCID: (2023) The instrumental motivation of teachers: implications of high-stakes accountability for professional learning. British Journal of Educational Studies .

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This article considers the motivations of teachers to pursue ongoing professional learning. During recent decades, the international policy context has been characterised by high-stakes accountability, but the implications of this agenda for teachers’ motivations toward professional learning remains under-explored. In this mixed methods study, combining a large teacher survey and in-depth teacher interviews, a new and significant concept of ‘instrumental motivation’ is generated to capture how high-stakes performance management policies damage the motivation of teachers to learn professionally. This innovative approach, employing ordinal factor analysis and inductive/deductive hybrid thematic analysis inclusive of self-determination theory, reveals how the ‘instrumental motivation’ of teachers should be constrained and argues for the adoption of alternative motivational strategies to support effective professional learning in schools.

Item Type: Article
Journal / Publication Title: British Journal of Educational Studies
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Group
ISSN: 1467-8527
Departments: Learning Education and Development (LED)
Institute of Education > Non-Initial Teacher Education
Additional Information: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
SWORD Depositor: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2023 16:08
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2024 11:56


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