Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Degree Level



Curriculum and Instruction


Carleton Holt

Committee Member

Benny Gooden

Second Committee Member

Jules Beck


Motivation, Professional Development, Teacher Motivation


This qualitative study was designed to determine if the teaching population in the state of Arkansas had a more favorable attitude toward specific motivational theories and practices; and to determine if that attitude significantly affected the teacher retention rate and the quality of work produced. The literature reviewed included the role of the school leader, motivational theory, and other relevant studies on teacher motivation. Eight National Board Certified teachers in Arkansas were interviewed about motivation as it related to professional improvement and development. The interviews focused on characteristics that serve as intrinsic motivators toward professional improvement and development and their impact on the teachers' attitudes. The interviews also attempted to identify differences between experienced and non-experienced teachers in relation to intrinsic motivational factors. The data revealed achievement and acceptance as the intrinsic motivational factors with the most significant impact on the teachers' attitudes toward professional improvement and development. The data did not reveal a difference between experienced and non-experienced teachers in relation to motivation and professional growth. This study contributed to the field of education by providing an extension of the established research on intrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivators vary in the effect they have on teachers and their desire to improve professionally. This study outlines the significance of these intrinsic motivators and the impact they have on accomplished teachers.