Importance Of Teacher Motivation Education Essay
A study of teachers' motivation consists of two main themes. The first one identifies the different factors affecting teachers' motivation, while the second aspect analyses how the school heads can impact on teachers' motivation through their leadership. This chapter explains the importance of teacher motivation. The motivational factors for teachers, applying literature findings are reviewed.
2.2: Importance of teacher motivation
Schools exist, primarily to educate children. It is for this purpose that teachers are employed in schools (Fiddler & Atton, 1997). Teachers are, thus, the most important professionals for any nation's future. However, without adequate support and resources, teachers will not be motivated although they may be highly qualified. It is sad to note that teachers, the most valuable human resource, are often neglected (Abdo, 2001). One should bear in mind that a nation's strength depends on the high quality of its education system and the strength of such a system, in turn, relies on qualified and motivated teachers. Inspired and motivated are essential in providing quality education.
Schools would definitely not survive without motivated and dedicated teachers.
2.3: Factors affecting teachers' motivation
Research (Eimers, 1997) has shown that teachers are influenced by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Further studies on motivation for teaching distinguished between intrinsic, extrinsic and altruistic reasons for choosing the profession (Kyriacou & Coulthard, 2000; Moran, Kilpatrick, Abbott, Dallat, & McClune, 2001). Intrinsically motivated teachers are focused on teaching and the activity related to the job itself. The inherent satisfaction or the joy of teaching is viewed as the driving force. The extrinsically motivated teachers focus on the benefits of teaching, such as salary, vacations or other external rewards connected to the job. Finally, the altruistically motivated teacher views teaching as a socially worthwhile and important job, and has a desire to be part of young peoples' growth and development.
Barmby (2006, p. 253) extrapolated these findings and points out that teachers' motivation is influenced less by externally initiated factors such as salary, educational policy and reform and conditions of service, than by those emanating from the intrinsic context within which they work.
According to Hallinger and Heck (1998), school leaders can play a critical role in the success of educational institutions. To the extent that school leaders can control the outcomes of teachers' efforts, they can influence the levels of motivation teachers experience (Silver, 1982). This can be through their influence on teachers' morale and motivation. Studies have lent proof (Hallinger and Heck, 1998; Leithwood and Jantzi, 2005; Leithwood and Mascall, 2008) that School leadership affects the way teachers teach, and hence, impact directly on student performance. Since school leaders can, in one way or the other, affect the intrinsic factors listed, they, thus, play an extremely role in motivating teachers.
Indeed, in an attempt to study teachers' motivation, Pitre (2003) found significant relationship between school leadership and teacher motivation. A school head should not only be an effective leader, manager and counselor, but also an effective motivator. Motivated teachers are productive teachers (Osterloh, Bruno and Frost, 2001) as they have job satisfaction. School leaders should bear in mind that without these, educational programmes may be deeply weakened (Snowden and Gorton, 2002). This is supported by Brown's study (2005), which found significant link between political, local and organisational factors and the use of incentives to motivate teachers in charter schools. Motivation was higher where more external incentives were provided. In fact, School leadership and Teacher Motivation are two things that are inextricably linked.
2.4 Importance of leadership in schools
For much of the twentieth century, the role of the school head was that of manager, where he/she was expected to manage personnel and budget, while handling other operational issues (Usdan, McCloud, & Podmostko, 2000). Studies on the topic suggest that in the past, principals were able to succeed, at least partially, by simply carrying out the directives of central administrators (Perez et al. 1999). Today, in a rapidly changing era of standards-based reform, as education moved into a new era of accountability, a different concept has emerged. According to Dussault and Barnett (1996), educational organisations are facing many challenges and this shift brings with it dramatic changes in what public education needs from principals. School principals must, therefore, enhance the quality of their services; they can no longer function simply as building managers, tasked with adhering to district rules, carrying out regulations and avoiding mistakes. "Management" by principals is no longer enough to meet today's educational challenges (Mulford, 2003). Researchers (Dussault and Barnett, 1996) claim that the actual situations in schools call for improvement and educational leadership. As Cawelti (1984, p.3) stated: "Continuing research on effective schools has verified the common sense observation that schools are rarely effective, in any sense of the word, unless the principal is a "good" leader" .
2.4.1 School leadership and effective schools
School leadership (Huber, 2004), indeed, has a pivotal role in contributing to effective schools. Gurr, Drysdale, and Mulford (2005) found in their case study research on Australian principals that "the principal remains an important and significant figure in determining the success of a school" (p. 548). Extensive empirical efforts have shown that leadership is a central factor for the quality and effectiveness of a school (Reynolds, 1976; Harris, 2005). The research results show that each and every successful school possesses a competent and sound school leadership. Research (Barber, 1995; Mortimore, Sammons, Stoll, Lewis and Ecob, 1988; Stoll and Fink, 1996) has shown that leadership, in fact, defines the success of a school. According to Leithwood, Day, Sammons, Hopkins and Harris (2006, p. 14-15), "there is not a single documented case of a school successfully turning around its pupil achievement trajectory in the absence of talented leadership."
In this line of thought, Leithwood, Louis, Anderson & Wahlstrom (2004) claimed that while classroom instruction has the greatest impact on student achievement, leadership has the second greatest effect. The role of the school leader has to be seen in relationship to the context in which the school is operating. Schools are embedded in the education system and their local communities; leaders, therefore, have to react to, cope with and support the development of the community served by their respective schools. Huber (1997) firmly believes that "school leaders matter, they are educationally-significant, school leaders do make a difference."
Given the manifold tasks and responsibilities of school leadership, as well as the competencies required, school leaders may be regarded as "superheroes". Their complex role can hardly be filled with traditional leadership concepts (Huber, 2004). Educational leaders are now confronted with an altogether new range of demands and challenges. They should bear in mind that their organisations have been set up to accomplish a specific social aim, shaping the society. The quality of education provided at school, therefore, determines the future society. Moreover, school leadership proved to be important for the learning environment for teachers in schools (James & McCormick, 2009; Louis, Dretzke, & Wahlstrom, 2010).
2.4.2 Successful and effective School leadership
126.96.36.199 Firm and purposeful leadership
It has been proven that all aspects of the school rely on a proper School Leader (Stoll and Fink, 1996; Huber, 2004; Mortimore et al., 1988). However, both the School Leader and individual teachers are of utmost importance.
Leithwood, in concert with others (Leithwood et al., 2004; Leithwood and Riehl, 2003; Leithwood et al., 2006), identified four broad categories of educational leadership, or "core practices:" setting directions; developing people; redesigning the organization; and managing the instructional program. At the same time, effective leaders know that the ability to lead and manage organisational change is critical for survival since the school environment is a dynamic one. School Leaders should incorporate the ability to deal with changes occurring in school system structure, especially when more responsibilities are being thrusted upon the shoulders of the School Leader by the educational system.
According to Calabrese (2002) the prototype school leader in the 21st century is a change agent. They have a responsibility to lead change that results in more effective and efficient educational practices, in an environment that is increasingly political. Therefore, outstanding school heads should be proactive. They must make the change happen without alienating the teaching staffs. They should act as mediators between those resisting changes (Levine and Lezotte, 1990) and the change agents. Leaders, thus, got a key role in inducing others to adopt change in order to improve the organisational effectiveness. Hence, school leaders, are key to initiate and maintaining the school improvement process (Sammons et al., 1994c).
Schools, expected to fulfill multi-dimensional functions, are affected by both internal and external environmental factors (Eres, 2011). School leaders can eliminate the negative effects of such factors. Thus, they need to be proactive, anticipating problems and should be prepared to counteract these efficiently and effectively. The role of the School Leader is not always clearly defined since leading and managing are two intermingling responsibilities.
2.4.3 School leadership and teachers' motivation
Leadership can be defined as the ability to enlist, mobilize and motivate others to apply their abilities and resources to a given cause (Eyal and Roth, 2010). This capacity is fundamental in the educational sphere. Very often, educators think in terms of motivating students to learn. Equally important, though, with respect to educational leadership is the motivation of teachers (Silver, 1982).
According to Kocabas and Karakose (2002), teachers are responsible to their schools and the principals are in turn responsible for the proper administration of the school. Therefore, the main responsibility for motivating teachers falls to the school head. Along this line, Barker (2001) studied poor performers and effective principals and suggested that effective leaders indeed motivate the staff. He claimed that the latter should be there to enthuse and invigorate teachers rather than to 'shape' them. Good leadership improves both teacher motivation and work settings. Further research by Kiziltepe (2006) found that the primary source of teachers' de-motivation was the administration
Though, the relationship between School leadership and Teacher Motivation have not directly been subject to much research, Brown and Hughes (2008) highlight the importance of exploring the different factors that motivate teachers, as society increasingly holds them accountable for student achievement. The relationship between school leadership and teacher motivation is related in the research literature to the attempt to better understand principals' impact on school performance (Leithwood and Jantzi, 2005; Leithwood and Mascall, 2008; Supovitz, Sirinides and May, 2010). Thus teachers' engagement and their motivation have been studied mostly as a mediating factor between school leadership and students' learning (Hallinger and Heck, 1998). According to Sharpe, Klockow & Martin (2002), the factors motivating teachers can vary from classroom to classroom, school to school, or district to district. If teachers are not motivated to teach, then the search for educational excellence will be avail (Richardson, Short & Prickett, 2003).
188.8.131.52: How can School leaders affect teachers' motivation
Several studies suggest that school leadership is second only to classroom teaching as an influence on student learning (Leithwood, Harris, &Hopkins, 2008; Leithwood &Jantzi, 2008) and that key to optimizing student learning is the influence exerted by school leaders on teacher motivation and commitment (Day, Stobart, Sammons, Kington, & Gu, 2006; Leithwood & Mascall, 2008). According to studies (Hallinger and Heck, 1996), school leadership affects students' outcomes indirectly, by creating the conditions that support teachers' ability to teach and students' learning. Teachers' motivation includes the expenditure of effort to achieve a goal (Martin, 2000). It is also about creating forces that power and drive their respective behaviours (Bursalioglu, 2002). Dull (1981) believes that school leaders could motivate teachers by improving a situation perceived to be difficult by an individual, thereby meeting needs. In addition, the school leader can also motivate teachers by providing adequate driving forces to urge one into action (Genc, 1987). The human factor should not be ignored, the educational leader should strive in developing a physiological and psychological process which takes into account individual desires, goals, tendencies, behaviour, self-interest, preference, will-power and drive. He/she should be considerate, that is, consider both intrinsic and extrinsic forces that actuate, direct and maintain staff behaviours (Gursel, 1997). Motivating teachers also implies increasing the latter's willingness to work and making them believe that they will satisfy their personal needs if they work efficiently in the school (Yuksel, 1998), by providing the appropriate conditions.
Porter, Polikoff, Goldring, Murphy, Elliot and May (2010) claims that these conditions include high standards for student learning, rigorous curricula, quality instruction, a culture of learning and above all- professional behaviour. Indeed, scholarly writings have linked the above mentioned conditions with increased teacher motivation to exert extra effort in teaching (Geisel, Sleegers, Leithwood and Jantzi, 2003). They added that school leadership has a key role in ensuring these conditions at school. Geisel et al. (2003) also mentioned that schools are effective only when the whole school community work as a whole and not as fragmented units. Thus, the school leaders should not only occupy the authority position but should also be visible (Dinham, Cariney, Craigie and Wilson, 1995) in the institution, so as to be able to motivate their staffs.
184.108.40.206.1: Visible leadership
Indeed, Dinham et al. (1995) found that secondary school principals' responsibilities include being visible, maintaining contact with student groups, keeping open lines of communication with stakeholders, promoting a positive school climate, being aware and in control of all school issues, influencing the school tone, and fostering school pride. According to further studies (Huber, 1997), teachers recognize it is highly motivating when their school head is involved in the daily routine. The school leader, showing dedicated interest in what happens in the class itself, is much appreciated. Teachers have a high esteem for leaders knowing about the curriculum and who are actively involved in monitoring students' progress. Robinson (2006) points out that school leaders who have subject specific knowledge will be more confident and successful in supporting improvement in teachers' practice. No doubt, teachers find it highly motivating when the principal provides a variety of support, including practical assistance and encouragement (Murphy, 1989). This involves frequent movement through the school, class visits as well as some informal exchange with the teaching staff (Teddlie et al., 1989). According to Scheerens (1992), this "is one of the pillars of school leadership" and such regular interactions could also help in assessing the ways teachers work.
2.4.1 Relationship between school leader and teachers
Davis et al. (2002) argue that the relationship between school leaders and teachers is very important: the school leader's regard for others is, key, to motivating teachers. Being in charge of the school administration, school leaders have the greatest share in motivating teachers. According to Griffin (2010), relationships with administrators were rated as a highly motivating factor. This is supported by Asbill and Gonzalez (2000) who found a relationship between positive principal-teacher interactions and teacher job satisfaction. Egley (2003) found similar results and emphasized the importance of a supportive principal-teacher relationship.
School leaders (Barnett and McCormick, 2003) must be able to create an environment conducive to the building of positivity, providing the platform for the staff to maintain good relations, so as to create a healthy environment, where all can grow adequately. Wallace (2010) further claimed that school leadership should also include some emotional dimension. She posited that school leaders who understand the emotional context in which they work will provide a more satisfying and effective work context for teachers. They highlighted that working in a classroom environment where there is administrative support enhances the element of respect. Indeed, interviews by Sederberg and Clark (1990) showed that teachers perceive respect as the most important incentive, followed by trust, optimism and intentionality.
Further research (Geisel et al., 2003) has shown that certain methods adopted by the School leadership indeed impact on the level of teacher motivation, for instance, defining a clear vision and objectives.
Shared vision and goals
Scholars (Eyal and Roth, 2010; Barnett and McCormick, 2002) posited that vision potentially offers the greatest capacity to influence teachers' motivation. Lashway (2000) added that school principals should ensure that this vision is relevant to the school context. The leader's vision must also be related to the existing needs and culture of the school (Keedy, 1991). In addition, it must be focused, consistent, at the same time, including short term as well as long term objectives (Geisel et al., 2003).
These help define and promote high expectations; and they connect directly with teachers and the classroom. Barnett and McCormick's (2003) findings echoed the above researchers' ideas and even extrapolated those- they concluded that teachers should, at all cost, share the school's vision. This is because vision provides personal goals for the teacher, a desire to see a change in the future. The staff should be able to connect to the vision when it is clearly defined, so that, their own personal objectives may sprout out from it. Their studies have shown that teachers are highly motivated when they build consensus on the aims and values of the school. In such cases, teachers can put these into practice through collaborative and consistent of working. Empirical evidence (Leithwood and Riehl, 2003; Ylimaki, 2006) proved that vision creates a sense of purpose that binds teachers together and propels them to fulfill their deepest aspirations and to reach ambitious goals. Indeed, Brewer's research (1993) showed that student achievement levels were higher in schools where the principal had hired like-minded teachers who shared the principal's goals and who were able to implement effectively the principal's vision. Other researchers (Lee and Smith, 1994) analyzed performance from 820 secondary schools and found that coherent, sustained, and focused reforms resulted in the best outcomes for students.
Therefore, effective professional principals (Huber, 1997, 2004) should relentlessly work to improve achievement by focusing on defining SMART goals. However, scholars (Gagne and Deci, 2005; Sheldon, Turban, Brown, Barrick and Judge, 2003) claimed that presenting followers with a value-laden vision is not enough.
No doubt, implementing a vision is not instantaneous; it requires repeated cycles of reflection, evaluation, and response, and only the principal can sustain it (Lashway, 1997). Sheldon et al. (2003) posited that the leadership role played by the school principal is critical in ensuring the vision and mission is attained. Thus, principals need to wear many different hats during the school day. But, the most effective school principals are not only managers and disciplinarians but also instructional leaders for the school (Leithwood and Mascall, 2008). Their studies showed that an effective school leader is not merely a good administrator or manager, but also a leading professional- a transformational leader.
According to Burns (1978) transformational leadership is the process in which leaders and their followers bring each other to a higher level of ethic and motivation. Today's schools, therefore, want not only visionary and professional leaders (Lashway, 2000), but transformational ones.
Transformational Leadership and motivation
Leithwood (1992) claimed that transformational leadership is, actually, the restructuring of the system in order for the mission and vision of people to be redefined. It also ensures that the staff identifies themselves with the goals of the organisation, together with enlisting the participation of the staffs by taking into consideration their opinion greatly provide the scope for motivation. Bass (1990) suggested that motivation is, in fact, a sub-dimension of transformational leadership. Other scholars (Simola, Barling and Turner, 2010; Park and Rainey, 2008) also concluded that motivation has been shown to be an inspiring component of such kind of leadership and these have shown a positive relationship between transformational leadership and motivation.
Indeed, Bass and Avolio (1997) have argued that transformational leadership can produce extraordinary outcomes in terms of increased commitment to achieving group or organisational goals.
Coupled with the above, Shamir, House and Arthur (1993), maintained that transformational leaders also foster intrinsic motivations related to self concept. Their theory of leadership asserted that charismatic leaders promote followers' intrinsic motivation to act beyond their self-esteem, self value and social identification. Research has shown a positive relationship between transformational leadership and motivation. It has been proved that in an organisation with transformational leaders, there is higher productivity and that the employees are happier and there are fewer negative incidents (Robbins, 1996). Indeed, transformational Leadership plays an important role in developing self-motivation. Leaders increase their workers' motivation through their behaviour (Bass, 1990, Greenberg and Baron, 2000). As the human relations and communicative skills of a transformational leader are developed, they are effective in persuading and directing their followers (Glad and Blanton, 1997).
They also motivate followers to transcend their own immediate self-interest for the sake of the mission and vision of the organisation. The leader motivates followers to "work for transcendental goals instead of immediate self-interest, for achievement and self-actualisation rather than safety and security" (Murray & Feitler, 1989, p. 3), and creates within followers a capacity to develop higher levels of commitment to organisational goals (Leithwood & Jantzi, 2000). Followers' confidence levels are raised and their needs broadened by the leader to support development to higher potential. Such total engagement (emotional, intellectual and moral) encourages followers to develop and perform beyond expectations (Bass, 1985; Burns, 1978).
220.127.116.11 Transformational and Transactional School leadership
Bass's model (1998) of transformational and transactional leadership has a number of important implications for the current reform movement in education. According to Bass and Avolio (1997), the transformational/transactional approach builds trust, respect, and a wish on the part of followers to work collectively toward the same desired future goals. This not only allows the transformational leader to operate effectively within the available context, but to change it, to make it more receptive to her or his own leadership orientation. Indeed, a positive relationship has been found (Howell and Hall- Merenda, 1999) between transformational leadership and a good rapport between the leader and follower.
Applying this to schools, Avolio and Bass (1988) argue that although transactional and transformational leadership can represent two discrete forms of leadership, effective school principals exhibit characteristics of both by maintaining short-term endeavors through transactional leadership and by inciting change as a transformational leader. A number of studies emphasize the importance of transformative leadership for school principals (Fullan 1996; Hord 1992; Leithwood, Tomlinson & Genge 1996; Wood 1998; Sergiovanni 1992; Conley 1997; Perez et al. 1999; Reed and Roberts 1998).
Transformational school leadership and teacher motivation
Contemporary middle school leaders have a vast array of responsibilities and are often characterized as those who should be "transformational leaders" (Sanzo et al., 2010). The challenges brought to schools by restructuring have been cited as reasons for advocating transformational leadership in schools. Such leadership embraces a postmodern way of thinking. It is argued that transformational leadership is well suited to the challenges of current school restructuring. It has the potential for building high levels of commitment (in teachers) to the complex and uncertain nature of the school reform agenda and for fostering growth in the capacities teachers must develop to respond positively to this agenda (Leithwood and Jantzi, 1997). Transformational leadership is seen to be sensitive to organisation building, developing shared vision, distributing leadership and building school culture necessary to current restructuring efforts in schools (Leithwood, Jantzi and Stainbach, 1999).
Transformational School leadership: the four I's and teacher motivation
Leithwood and Jantzi (1990) have defined transformational leadership based on schools. Transformational leadership dimensions, namely, idealized influence, inspirational motivation and intellectual stimulation, were found to directly influence teachers' amount of motivation (Geisel et al., 2003; Leithwood and Jantzi, 2005). These, in turn, had an indirect impact on students' achievements and learning (Leithwood and Jantzi, 2005).
Individualised attention-Teachers' needs and expectations
Individualised attention (Blasé and Kirby, 2000) given to the staff, greatly adds up to teacher motivation. According to Blasé and Kirby (2000), it is of upmost importance for leaders to identify teachers' needs- the social needs should not be neglected (Bursalioglu, 2002), and their feelings about their jobs. School leaders have to be conscious of the fact that each person has different needs and, therefore, should be motivated accordingly. Weller (1982) added that the school principal should be sympathetic to the needs of their teachers. The leaders should be able to cater for the needs of each and every one. According to Adair (2002), a leader, who is not aware of these, and who does not display effort to fulfill these, will definitely face difficulties in motivating teachers. He added that only a well-informed leader can devise and implement effective strategies to assist teachers in their development, ensuring they perform their respective duties in an effective, enthusiastic and motivated manner.
Blasé, Derick and Stahth (1986) reported that principals' initiating structure and displaying consideration were associated with more satisfying work conditions, higher job satisfaction, and less job stress. Staff's experience of job stress was seen as principals' lack of consideration and was related to teacher dissatisfaction. It was found that teachers (Blasé et al., 1986) are less likely to share their views and opinions, or trying to improve the conditions if they feel that their school heads are not enough caring. Blasé (1986) put forward that the latter should strive to develop fruitful relationships with the teaching staff, fostering positive communication with and among teachers. It is only through these relationships that they can establish leader legitimacy and encouraged commitment. Teachers should feel that they form part of the school community and not simply as employees working in the school.
The motivation for working with the subject matter in which teachers have their academic degree and the wish to teach it to others are important motivators for teachers both before and upon completion of the PGCE course (Roness & Smith, 2009, 2010). Still, we find that the subject-matter interest is a salient and stable motivator among these Norwegian teachers, a finding which aligns with other international research (Kyriacou et al., 1999; Manuel & Brindley, 2005; Manuel & Hughes, 2006). A plausible reason for these results can be that when starting teacher education, the students regard themselves as subject-matter specialists.
Idealised influence is the charismatic element of transformational leadership, in which leaders, become role models, who are admired, respected and emulated by their followers (Avolio and Bass, 2002; Bass, 1998; Bass and Avolio, 1994). As a result, followers demonstrate a high degree of trust in such leaders (Jung and Avolio, 2000). Researchers (Jung and Avolio, 2000) added that shared vision, is, an integral component of this idealized transformational role, inspiring acceptance through the alignment of goals.
Principals must, therefore, be good role models supporting best practice (Colley, 2002).
Leaders behave in ways that motivate and inspire those around them by providing meaning and challenge to their followers' work (Avolio and Bass, 2002). According to Bass (1998), team spirit is aroused and followers show much enthusiasm. The transformational school leader (Barnett and McCormick, 2003) builds and sustains interactive communications with the teachers. For instance, inspirational talks and acting in ways that encourage enthusiasm. Principals inspire teachers to see an attractive future, while communicating expectations and demonstrating a commitment to goals and the shared vision. Research (Eyal and Roth, 2010) also proved that transformational school leaders can stimulate their teachers' efforts to be innovative and creative.
According to Tracey and Hinkin (1998), such influence motivates followers to show integrity in the form of ethical and moral conduct. This includes values and beliefs which emphasise the school's mission and embracing high morality. Another point to be noted is that teachers want to be fairly treated. Any discriminatory actions (Wevers, 2000) against them are negatively perceived and these impact heavily on their motivation level. Awamleh and Gardiner (1999) believe that school leaders should avoid the misuse of power for personal gains. School leaders should be seen trustworthy and competent by followers (Cheemers, 2001). So, it is important to have ethical school leaders.
Studies (Reynolds, 1976; Mortimore et al., 1988;, Stoll and Fink, 1996) of Effective schools showed that, principals, considered innovation to be an integral part of the school. They encourage teachers to question existing assumptions and to reframe problems. They invite the teaching staff to approach old situations in new ways. Intellectual stimulation (Burns, 1978), whereby school leaders encourage teachers to think creatively is also highly motivating. The latter entails promoting an innovatory mindset, whereby the staff is to think beyond conventional frameworks to provide solutions to problems. Apart from these, such principals strongly believe that much can be learnt by doing and mistakes are not publicly criticized. Instead, this helps to foster team work and, eventually, this improves the problem-solving ability. It is to be mentioned that the principals act as a mentor in such cases, emphasizing rationality.
Therefore, an argument exists that transformational leadership is more facilitative of educational change and contributes to organisational improvement, effectiveness and school culture (Deal and Peterson, 1990). Evidence from several studies (Leithwood and Jantzi, 1990; Sashkin and Sashkin, 1990) provides strong support for the claim that transformational leadership contributes to more desirable school cultures.
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