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The Effective Teacher: Theory and Research on Instructors' Motivation in Higher Education

Special issue call for papers from Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

Guest Editors:
Dr Madasu Bhaskara Rao, ICFAI Business School, The ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education, Hyderabad, India (
Dr Sita Vanka, University of Hydrabad, India (
Ms. Madasu Mallika Rao, Koneru Lakshmaiah Education Foundation, Vaddeswaram, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India (

Submission deadline: July 31, 2018

Submission ideas to Guest Editor Madasu Bhaskara Rao ( by April 1, 2018.

Public and private, university and non-university, and for-profit and non-profit higher educational institutions have different cultures, deal with certain kinds of students, and arrange various working contracts with their staff; and these differences affect, necessarily, the characteristics of the academic staff in each of these contexts. Public universities employ most academic staff on full time regular contracts, while in private universities and institutions a teacher is just an employee, sometimes on full time, with no job stability or prospects for a career (Altbach et al., 2013). In these contexts, the concern of higher education is one of the teacher's motivations as opposed to the traditional focus of student motivation.
Teacher motivation as a domain of inquiry is still emerging (Kaplan, 2014). Teacher shortage reported by many countries including the USA, Australia, India, Brazil, China, UK, Germany, and Norway, among many others, needs to be addressed from the perspective of instructor motivation. A renewed research interest in teachers' motivation to teach and to remain teaching in the past decade has highlighted possible causes of the existing and potential teacher shortages as - early teacher attrition, teaching force ageing, imbalance of high demand with less reward, limited career opportunities, less job security and low prestige (OECD, 2005; Richardson & Watt, 2005, 2006; Sinclair, 2008, Sinclair, Dowson, & Mcinerney, 2006; Watt & Richardson, 2007; Watt et al., 2013 cited by Han & Yin, 2016). 

The significance of teacher motivation research is also self-evident as it is a crucial factor closely related to a number of variables in education such as student motivation, educational reform, teaching practice and teachers' psychological fulfilment and well-being. Therefore, it is helpful for administrators to determine how to attract potential teachers and how to retain them in teaching (Han & Yin, 2016).

There is a need for developing more comprehensive models of motivation that integrate the conscious constructs of goals and self-regulation on with non-conscious motivational processes such as implicit beliefs, attitudes and self- and other-stereotypes (Pintrich, 2003).

As for instructor motivation, Sinclair (2008) defined it in terms of attraction, retention and concentration as something that determines 'what attracts individuals to teaching, how long they remain in their initial teacher education courses and subsequently the teaching profession, and the extent to which they engage with their courses and the teaching profession'. Dornyei and Ushioda (2011) highlighted the two dimensions of instructor motivation in accordance with their conceptions of motivation, namely, the motivation to teach and the motivation to remain in the profession. Their review of literature came to a conclusion of four featured components of instructor motivation: prominent intrinsic motivation which was closely related to inherent interest of teaching; social contextual influences relating to the impact of external conditions and constraints; temporal dimension with emphasis on lifelong commitment; and demotivating factors emanating from negative influences.

The salient themes and primary foci that will be explored in the special issue include some of (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Are instructors in higher education aware what they want or what motivates them?
  • Change and development of instructors' motivation at higher education over time.
  • Factors influencing teaching as a career choice at higher education.
  • Drivers of motivation for professors/instructors in higher education.
  • Factors influencing and impact of instructors' motivation on learning, research and development.
  • Teaching at higher education as a first choice and factors influencing the instructor's motivation to teach.
  • How do instructors/professors get what they want in higher education?
  • Impact of compensation for instructors/professors on their motivation.
  • Impact of educated unemployed youth on motivation of teachers in higher education.
  • Impact of technology on instructor motivation in higher education.
  • Models of instructor/professor motivation in higher education.
  • Policies and practices that would promote instructor/professor motivation.
  • Pressure of research and publications and its impact of motivation to teach.
  • Privatization of higher education and work-life conflict for teachers leading to demotivation.
  • Role of context and culture in instructor motivation in higher education.
  • Role of motivation in attracting, developing and retaining effective teachers in higher education.
  • Sustaining instructor/professor motivation in higher education.
  • Teaching methodologies and their impact of instructor motivation in higher education.
  • Teaching settings: Impact on instructor/professor motivation.

Submission guidelines

The deadline for the receipt of manuscripts is 31 July 2018. Please contact the special issue Guest Editor via email by 1 April 2018, to discuss your idea, and increase the chance that your manuscript fits the editorial intentions. All articles must be submitted through the ScholarOne system ( If you have any questions about using the system, please contact Emerald ScholarOne Manuscripts Support Centre ( Please ensure you submit your manuscript to this special issue on page 4 of the submission process.

Manuscripts should adhere to the JARHE submission guidelines which can be found at (

Manuscripts should be between 3000 and 6000 words in length. Titles should be no more than eight words.

In keeping with ethical standards of research, each author who submits a manuscript to the Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education must ensure that the original data or results presented in the manuscript have not been published in whole or part elsewhere. The primary reason for this is that duplicate publication may distort the knowledge base in a field and may lead to erroneous inferences regarding a phenomenon.

Authors for whom English is their second language are encouraged strongly to use an editing service prior to submitted their manuscripts. One example of such a service is Emerald Publishing Services; information about these services can be found at the Emerald Publishing website ( This special issue is open and competitive. Submitted papers will undergo the normal, double-blind, peer review process.

Important Dates

1 April 2018 - Contact with Guest Editor with submission ideas
31 July 2018 - Full paper submission
30 September 2018 - Notification to authors
30 November 2018 - Final version of papers due
February 2019 - Special issue published


Altbach, G.P., Reisbegg, L., Yudkevich, M., & Androushchak, G. a. (2013). The Global Future of Higher Education & the Academic Profession: The BRICs and the United States. In G.P. Altbach, L. Reisbegg, M. Yudkevich, & G.A. Androushchak. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Dörnyei, Z., & Ushioda, E. (2011). Teaching and researching: Motivation (Second ed.). Harlow: Longman Pearson.

Han, J., & Yin, H. (2016). Teacher Motivation: Definition, Research Development and Implications for Teachers. Cogent Education, p.1-8.

Kaplan, A. (2014). Theory and Research on Teacher's Motivation: Mapping an Emerging Conceptual Terrain. In W. P. Richadrson, & A. S. Karabenick, Teacher Motivation: Theory and Practice (p.52-66). New York: Routledge.

OECD. (2005). Teachers Matter: Attracting, Developing and Retaining Effective Teachers. Paris: OECD Publishing.

Pintrich, P. R. (2003). A motivational science perspective on the role of student motivation in learning and teaching contexts. Journal of Educational Psychology, p.667-686.

Sinclair, C., Dowson M., and Mcinerney, D. M. (2006). Motivation to Teach: Psychometric Perspectives Across the First Semester of Teacher Education. Teacher College Record, 108(6):1132-1154.

Sinclair, Catherine (2008). Initial and Changing Student Teacher Motivation and Commitment to Teaching. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education, 36(2):79-104. 

Watt M. G. Helen & Richardson W. Paul (2007).  Motivational Factors Influencing Teaching as a Career Choice: Development and Validation of the FIT-Choice Scale. The Journal of Experimental Education. 75(3):167-202.

Watt, M. G. Helen; Richardson, W.; Klusmann, Uta; Kunter, Mareike; Beyer, Beate; Trautwein, Ulrich & Baumert, Jürgen (2012). Motivations for Choosing Teaching as a Career: An International Comparison Using the FIT-Choice Scale. Teaching and Teacher Education. 28:791-805.