Cognitive and motivational characteristics of elementary teachers in general education classrooms and in gifted programs

Document Type



Whether teachers in general education classrooms and in gifted programs differ in their cognitive and motivational characteristics was examined in 182 elementary school teachers. The teacher characteristics examined were epistemological beliefs (beliefs about the nature of knowledge and beliefs about the nature of learning), metacognition (planning, monitoring, and strategy selection), and motivation (self-efficacy, intrinsic motivation, and goal orientation). Teachers in gifted programs reported more sophisticated epistemological beliefs, higher learning-goal orientation, and lower performance-goal orientation than did teachers in general education classrooms. However, perceived use of metacognitive strategies, self-efficacy, and intrinsic motivation were not different between the two groups. Teachers in general reported epistemological sophistication more in the nature of learning than in the nature of knowledge, that they use cognitive strategies more so than planning and monitoring of their activities, and that they are more learning-goal oriented than performance-goal oriented. It is suggested that more courses and trainings are needed for preservice and in-service teachers so they have opportunities to learn and self-reflect on their own characteristics.


Education | Educational Psychology | Psychology