Teachers’ motivation and emotion during professional development : antecedents, concomitants, and consequences

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2017-05

Authors

Osman, David J.

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Abstract

Professional development (PD) opportunities are offered to teachers as means for them to develop their knowledge and teaching practices, with the hope of improved learning outcomes for students. However, PD experiences often do not improve teacher knowledge or lead to changed teacher practices. Research exploring how teachers interact with professional development can serve as a powerful tool and help to outline further the landscape of professional development. Specifically, understanding the intersections of motivation, emotion, and teacher learning may inform our understanding of why teachers do or do not implement what they learn in PD and contribute to theories about the motivation-emotion-learning connection. Theoretical frameworks influencing this work include Expectancy-Value theory of motivation (Eccles et al., 1983), with the idea that the theory may help with explaining teachers’ motivation during PD by way of teachers’ expectancies for successful implementation, value for implementing, and perceived costs of implementing influence their intentions to implement what they learned in PD. In addition to motivation, this study considers teachers’ emotional experiences during professional development. Emotion theories, as formulated by Pekrun (2006) and Fredrickson (2001), frame emotions as the product of cognitions, and emotions as antecedents to future cognition. In this way, emotions can support or hinder teachers’ learning during PD. As teaching is an emotionally laden profession (Hargreaves, 1998), the consequences of teachers’ emotions during PD are especially important to understand why and how teachers’ learn and implement professional development. In this descriptive study, I measured the antecedents and consequences of teachers’ motivational and emotional experiences during PD. Educator participants (n = 673) were sampled from 64 summer professional development experiences. Participants completed two questionnaires, one immediately following the summer PD experience and a second in the following fall semester. Data were analyzed using hierarchical linear modeling. Results indicated that participants’ motivation to implement what they had learned in PD and the degree to which they had experienced pleasant affect during PD predicted their intentions to implement what they had learned. Participants’ motivation to implement was also predicted by their teaching self-efficacy. Implications for research and practitioners are discussed.

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