Job Motivation of Teachers Educating Learners with Special Needs in Four Provinces in Kenya
One of the main strategies for improving the quality of Special Needs Education (SNE) is to raise the morale and motivation of its teachers. To be successful, educational institutions need teachers, especially those with special education bias. This study investigated factors that enhance or lower motivation of SNE teachers. Studies reviewed supported the relationship between teacher retention and specific work conditions such as students’ characteristics, compensation, perceived administrative support and school climate among other variables. No study has been conducted that is directly related to the current study. The study employed the Job Design Questionnaire by Hackman and Oldham (1964) as well as the "Teachers’ Satisfaction Survey” by Herzberg (1959) both had a five point likert - type scale requiring special education teachers to indicate their views by a ticking against the options provided concerning statement about their jobs. The main theories guiding the study were Maslow’s "Hierarchy of Needs Theory", "Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory" of Motivation and the "Job Characteristic Model of Motivation" by Hackman and Oldham. The pilot study was first conducted in four special schools in Nairobi and Kiambu districts where a total of 40 teachers were randomly selected to participate. For the main study, the population was drawn from four purposively selected provinces including Nyanza, Eastern, Central and Nairobi. The schools were then grouped according to the four main categories of disability i.e. visually impaired, hearing impaired and mentally handicapped. A total of 16 special schools and 16 integrated schools were subsequently randomly sampled out of these categories. Specifically, the number of special school teachers was 142, while integrated teachers numbered 128. The total number used for the main study was 270. Data were analysed by the use of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). The hypotheses for the study were tested using the independent sample t-test which compared the differences in the means of the special and integrated schools as well the marital status and gender of the teachers against the job motivation factors. The Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) method was used to find the differences within groups of means while the correlation coefficient test was used to determine the relationship between job factors and teacher motivation. Findings were consistent with "Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory" indicating that every person strives for the fulfilment of certain needs. The present study shows that the teachers' state in the hierarchy of needs influences his or her work performance. The knowledge of unfulfilled special education teachers’ needs may enable stakeholders to influence their work performance. Findings are in agreement with Herzberg’s "Two-Factor Theory". Hackman’s "Model of Motivation" and Herzberg’s theory shows that intrinsically rewarding factors like recognition led to Job satisfaction.