Motivational Factors and Gender Differences in the Successful Completion of Music Education Doctoral Programs: A Pilot Study12/20/2019
What accounts for the success or failure of music education doctoral students regarding the completion of their degrees? Though students continue to enter doctoral programs, high attrition rates indicate many are not completing their degrees, including PhD students in music education. Perhaps those who complete this high level of academic achievement are more highly motivated than those who do not. An investigation of the differences between genders regarding motivation and length of time for degree completion is the focus of this study and seeks to answer the following: What effect does motivation have on music education doctoral students in the completion of their degrees? Are there motivational differences between male and female music education doctoral students concerning the completion of their degrees? Is there a difference in the amount of time it takes for female music education doctoral students to complete their degrees as compared to male students? Relating factors of motivation to achievement, the Expectancy-Value Theory of Achievement Motivation is the framework used in this study. A questionnaire was used in this quantitative pilot study of former music education doctoral students (n=12) at universities in Ohio who obtained their PhDs within the last 15 years. Results indicate no significant difference between genders regarding the length of time for degree completion, though differences were found in motivational factors for starting and continuing in music education doctoral programs until completion. Limitations, implications, and recommendations for future research are suggested.