Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
thesis_access.pdf (6.77 MB)

Teacher Motivation Perceptions of Indigenous Stakeholders in the Maldives

Download (6.77 MB)
posted on 2021-12-08, 13:07 authored by Hasan, Abdul Raheem

Teachers form the largest investment in a school and can instrumentally exert the strongest direct influence on student outcomes. A school is as good as its teachers, and hence retention of successful teachers is imperative. Teachers’ motivation to remain carrying out the tasks associated with teaching enthusiastically make a vast difference in terms of student achievement, thereby attracting other teachers, students and parents to the school. At their best, the teachers effectively tap into the hopes and talents of young people to help them grow into productive citizens. The scrutiny of the sources of motivation is presumed to help make informed decisions to enhance teachers’ motivation to remain in teaching.  The study reported here aimed at exploring the stakeholders’ perceptions of the motivational influences for successful indigenous teachers to remain as teachers in the small islands state of the Maldives. This empirical case study employed qualitative methods of data collection from indigenous groups of stakeholders that included central level policy-makers, school principals, leading teachers, successful teachers, parents and students. In total, 32 participants contributed data through 29 interviews, 29 questionnaires, and three focus group discussion meetings.  Analysis of data via a grounded theory approach with a sociocultural constructivist lens indicated that a dynamic interplay of factors contributed to the understanding of what motivated these teachers to remain teaching. Overall, it was revealed that the participants’ perceptions of what motivated successful teachers to remain as teachers were largely influenced by the cultural aspects and the specific island life characteristics. It was clear that the motivational influences to stay in the teaching profession were contextual, inter-related, inter-dependent and multifaceted, and the ‘double S of motivation’ – salary and status – was also evident.  It was revealed that a successful teacher is angel-like in the context, and hence, what constitutes success as a teacher in these islands was basically dependent upon the teacher’s ability to win the hearts and minds of the people through catering for the “curriculum, culture, and community”. Thus, the desires of achieving community approval for their deeds and remaining in healthy relationships with other stakeholders were perceived to be motivational influences for successful indigenous teachers.  These findings highlight the importance of conducting habitual, specialised and localised studies to understand teachers’ motivational influences as they are context specific. This implied the need for educational policy-makers, school managers and supervisors of teachers to understand the complexity of contextual motivational influences to maximise teachers’ positive impact upon student development. In light of this, the challenges to sustain teachers’ motivation in these uniquely vulnerable islands are also discussed.  To conclude this study report, which was limited only to the perceptions of indigenous stakeholder groups, on the motivational influences for successful indigenous teachers to remain teaching in a country where there is a high proportion of foreign teachers – particularly at higher levels of schooling – future research ideas and recommendations that might motivate, sustain and increase motivation are also outlined. The RICH theory of motivation is also proposed as a framework to be validated for use in studying motivation of teachers in similar settings.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy


McDonald, Lex; Hynds, Anne