Journal of Science Education and Technology

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 558–570 | Cite as

Research University STEM Faculty Members’ Motivation to Engage in Teaching Professional Development: Building the Choir Through an Appeal to Extrinsic Motivation and Ego

  • Jana Bouwma-GearhartEmail author


This paper reports on a qualitative, grounded-theory-based study that explored the motivations of science and engineering faculty to engage in teaching professional development at a major research university. Faculty members were motivated to engage in teaching professional development due to extrinsic motivations, mainly a weakened professional ego, and sought to bring their teaching identities in better concordance with their researcher identities. The results pose a challenge to a body of research that has concluded that faculty must be intrinsically motivated to participate in teaching professional development. Results confirmed a pre-espoused theory of motivation, self-determination theory; a discussion of research literature consideration during grounded theory research is offered. A framework for motivating more faculty members at research universities to engage in teaching professional development is provided.


Research universities STEM faculty motivation Teaching professional development Self-determination theory 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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