Toward a model of factors influencing teacher self-determination and professional commitment
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Although previous research has examined the relationship of teachers' school context to both teacher motivation and retention (Coladarci 1992; Hoy and Woolfolk 1993; Uline 2008; Skaalvik and Skaalvik 2010), very little research has looked at the role of teachers' professional development experiences to these outcome variables, nor has the role of motivation in the relationship between school contextual factors and teachers' professional commitment been examined. This study tested a model of teacher motivation that measures the relationships of teacher background variables, professional development experiences, and school climate to teacher self-determination and professional commitment. Teacher self-determination was hypothesized in this model to mediate the relationship between these teacher background and contextual variables to teachers' professional commitment. The fit of the model was analyzed using Structural Equation Modeling, with a multiple group analysis employed to determine whether significant differences existed between public and charter school teacher participants. Results of this investigation revealed that with some modifications, the proposed model obtained good fit (using multiple fit indices) for both groups, with parameters allowed to vary freely. Due to possible differences between groups in measurement and structural model path coefficients, models for each group of teachers are interpreted separately. Implications of the final models as well as limitations of the study are discussed.