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Issues in Educational Research, 2024, Vol 34(1), 163-182.
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Australian teachers' causal attributions along a motivational continuum in supporting their resilience

Karen Peel
University of Southern Queensland, Australia

Nick Kelly
Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Patrick A. Danaher
Excelsia College, Sydney, Australia

Teachers' motivation and the conditions that support their resilience to sustain motivation in the profession impact on their decision-making and outcomes for students. Yet a less commonly explored issue in educational research is the interdependence of the contextual influences on being a teacher and those teachers' thoughts and behaviours. This research deployed a qualitative inquiry approach to investigate how teachers' causal attributions about their perceived experiences indicate varying levels of external and internal motivation. The data extracts from semi-structured interviews with six Australian teachers provided insight into how they appraised the complexities, challenges and contradictions that were inherent in the work that they performed in their profession. Thematic analysis was used to deconstruct and interpret the teachers' narratives that reflected their inward feelings about how they practised emotional regulation, developed an open approach to change, recognised the pressures inherent in different stages in a teaching career and facilitated a work-life balance to manage the external and personal demands. The conceptually framed and exploratory discussion proposes that how teachers attribute causes in response to multifaceted, potentially difficult and at times competing events and issues in the workplace can be interpreted along a motivational continuum to identify resilient strengths and required support.
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Authors: Dr Karen Peel is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Southern Queensland, Toowoomba, Australia. She is experienced in curriculum design and implementation of practices for effective teaching and learning. Her research is situated in the fields of self-regulated learning, classroom behaviour management, teacher resilience and the work of remote education tutors. Website: https://staffprofile.usq.edu.au/profile/karen-peel
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1626-9525
Email: karen.peel@unisq.edu.au

Dr Nick Kelly is an Associate Professor in the School of Design at the Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. He researches design metacognition, interaction design and ways to improve teachers' lives through design.
Website: https://www.qut.edu.au/about/our-people/academic-profiles/nick.kelly
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8621-105X
Email: nick.kelly@qut.edu.au

Patrick A. Danaher is Professor and Master of Education course coordinator in the School of Education at Excelsia College, Sydney, Australia. His current and recent adjunct and honorary positions include at the University of Southern Queensland, Central Queensland University, the University of the Sunshine Coast and James Cook University, Australia, and at the University of Helsinki, Finland.
Website: https://excelsia.edu.au/about/academic-staff/professor-patrick-danaher/
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2289-7774
Email: patrick.danaher@excelsia.edu.au

Please cite as: Peel, K., Kelly, N. & Danaher, P. A. (2024). Australian teachers' causal attributions along a motivational continuum in supporting their resilience. Issues in Educational Research, 34(1), 163-182. http://www.iier.org.au/iier34/peel.pdf

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Created 30 March 2024. Last update: 30 March 2024. Website: Roger Atkinson [rjatkinson@bigpond.com]