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The motivation to pursue an administrative credential among aspirants in the study was typically expressed as being internal or intrinsic reflected in three out of four written journal entries.

External motivation

Less than a fourth of the aspirants wrote that their decision to enroll in the program was in part motivated by external /extrinsic factors. Some wrote of wanting to make a difference, like “I can make things better for tomorrow,” “[to] make a difference for the school and the students,” and “I will make a difference in children’s lives.” As if expressing a sense of being inspired to lead, one wrote “I do have a deep desire to make a difference for the greater good.” Another discussed having a greater impact by writing, “[by becoming a school leader]I can inspire other teachers to influence [their] students’ lives.” Some discussed being motivated by wanting to affect more students - “[to]spread the vision of all students’ ability to succeed.” Expressing their motivation as being more spiritual or inspired, others wrote comments like, “I feel that I have been called…to help those that need it the most” and “I am being called to something greater than myself.”

There were only three aspirants whose entire journal entries focused only on external motivation exclusively without any reference to leadership skills or internal motivation; all three were white with 10 or fewer years of teaching experience who taught in middle or high schools. The following entry represents sentiments expressed by the others:

Since before I can remember, I have always been the one to raise my hand and speak. When I started teaching I thought my voice would become quiet in comparison to my veteran teachers. However, after only one year of teaching, I found my voice again and began to share my thoughts and opinions with everyone. The following year I was a main part in reforming the sequence in which our classes were taught. I loved being a part of change that would help all students achieve. So, I began thinking of all the issues that I feel need to be changed within education and I decided it was up to me to be a part of a new educational reform.

Although external motivation was mentioned by one out of five aspirants, the fewest number of aspirants (3) reported being drawn to the program by only external or extrinsic forces.

Leadership and internal motivation

Less than a fourth of the aspirants, 19 of 83, reported that their decision to enroll in the program was motivated by leadership experiences and skills in combination with internal motivation. More than half were white females who had been teaching for 6 or more years and there was an even distribution of where they taught - elementary, middle, or high school. As one aspirant wrote, “I seem to need more money in my life. People have said you make a good leader. I don’t know that, but I have a presence.” Another explained “I’ve been dept. chair at my site for the past four years, taking more of an administrative role as the year progresses... If I’m going to devote time and energy into improving myself, this program was the natural choice." Another wrote, “I’ve always wanted to do a master’s to make more money…I’m a leader + over the years many people have suggested that I become an administrator.” Another aspirant wrote,

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Source:  OpenStax, Educational leadership and administration: teaching and program development, volume 23, 2011. OpenStax CNX. Sep 08, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11358/1.4
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