[Wu, Xinchun] Beijing Normal Univ, Sch Psychol, Beijing 100875, Peoples R China.;[Anderson, David; Ji, Jiao] Univ British Columbia, Dept Curriculum & Pedag, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.;[Ji, Jiao] Cent S Univ, Sch Marxism, Changsha, Hunan, Peoples R China.
[Ji, J] Univ British Columbia, Dept Curriculum & Pedag, 2125 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.
extrinsic and intrinsic motivation;science museum educators;self-determination theory;work motivation
Conceptualized by the self-determination theory, this interpretive study examined 23 museum educators' perspectives from five Chinese science museums to understand their work motivation in relation to their professional practice of working in museums. Research outcomes showed that, Chinese science museum educators' work motivation followed a common extrinsic-intrinsic pattern, in which extrinsic motivation was valued and seemed to be more influential in career decisions than intrinsic motivational factors. This finding was found to be different in a number of ways to most museum educator studies conducted in Western cultural contexts. Furthermore, sociocultural factors regarding museum educators' backgrounds and experiences as well as their institutional contexts had differential impacts on extrinsic and intrinsic motivations. This study has implications for museum-education-related researchers, policy makers, and administrators to reconsider the recruitment criteria, in-service motivating mechanism, and professional training system for museum educators in China and beyond.