Motivation has been cited as one of the most dominant predictors of student academic achievement and is recognized as one of the most important educational challenges. The purpose of the present study was to examine attribution theory in relationship to motivation and achievement, and the perceptions of in-service school music teachers. Three hundred and nine music teachers from different school systems across a southeastern U.S. state were asked to complete Asmus’s Music Attribution Orientation Scale (MAOS) to determine those causes that music teachers attribute most to student success or failure in music. Causal attributions were also examined by gender and school level. Findings revealed that music teachers in general tend to attribute effort and ability as the leading causes of student success or failure in music. No significant difference was found for causal attributions between genders or among school levels. Implications for teaching and research are discussed.

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