Type of Document Dissertation Author Grove, Crissie Mae Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-04122008-112236 Title The Importance of Values-Alignment Within a Role-Hierarchy to Foster Teachers' Motivation for Implementing Professional Development Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department Educational Psychology and Learning Systems, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Jeannine E. Turner Committee Chair Alysia Roehrig Committee Member Ashby Plant Committee Member Susan Carol Losh Committee Member Keywords
- Professional Development
- Teacher Training
Date of Defense 2007-11-27 Availability unrestricted AbstractABSTRACT
This study occurred within the context of the professional development program, Great Expectations of Oklahoma (GE). This dissertation study investigated the extent to which participating teachers implemented the GE training. A qualitative design was used to investigate why teachers attended this training and how the school administration fostered greater implementation.
Previous pilot studies provided insight into ways that elements may lead to teachers’ greater implementation of professional development and suggested that Self-Determination Theory would provide a useful framework for the current study’s data collection and findings. Deci and Ryan’s Self-Determination Theory (SDT) (1985; 2000) states that autonomy (e.g., choice), competence (e.g., enhancing skills), and relatedness (e.g., collegiality) influence individuals’ intrinsic motivation.
The overarching focus for this qualitative dissertation was to investigate why some teachers are motivated to make changes in their classrooms while others seem to resist change. An underlying premise was that, when teachers feel intrinsically motivated and enthusiastic to attend professional development (through feelings of autonomy), feel competence to implement the professional development strategies and form supportive relationships, greater implementation of professional development may occur. This study investigated how teachers’ intrinsic motivation to attend and implement professional development training was supported by the professional development training and the teachers’ principal upon returning to school. SDT was used as the theoretical framework to investigate this phenomenon. This dissertation used a case study qualitative design (Creswell, 1998; Merriam, 1998; Yin, 2003) to investigate teachers’ motivation and implementation of professional development.
In this dissertation, I collected and analyzed data in the school to examine the extent to which elements of SDT positively influenced teachers’ motivation to implement the training. Within the school context, I conducted interviews with principals (n= 3) and teachers (n= 8) of GE schools (schools that have attended GE and claim to implement some of its practices) to investigate the extent to which teachers’ autonomy, competence, and relatedness were supported within the schools before the training, and if these elements were increased due to the training. Additionally, I interviewed the teachers to explore how elements at the school level and the GE level worked together to enhance teachers’ implementation of GE. Finally, I conducted observations of teachers who have attended GE in order to investigate their levels of GE implementation.
Within the training context, I conducted interviews with the director of GE and GE staff to provide insight into how the training supports attendees’ autonomy, competence, and relatedness. I also conducted field notes to provide evidence of SDT elements (i.e., autonomy, competence, and relatedness) at the training. I investigated the relationship among these elements and the characteristics of the training that support and enhance these elements in synergistic ways at the school level.
Specific research questions were:
1. In what ways does GE support teachers’ autonomy, competence, and relatedness during the training to foster motivation to implement?
2. How do principals support teachers’ autonomy to support teachers’ decisions to attend GE
3. What is the process by which principals foster or hinder teachers’ intrinsic motivation to implement professional development?
Research questions One and Two were answered using data that were collected concerning teachers’ perceptions of the professional development and the school employees’ historical decision to attend professional development training and current levels of implementation. Data demonstrated that teachers whose autonomy, competence, and relatedness were supported by principals were more motivated to implement to a high degree. In contrast, teachers whose autonomy, competence, and relatedness were not supported by principals were less likely to implement the training to a high degree, despite considering the training to be of high quality. Additionally, the alignment of values between the principal and teacher was shown to be vital to teachers’ intrinsic motivation to implement the professional development training, regardless of how the teacher felt about the training itself.
The third research question was answered using a grounded theory analysis of the interview data. Analysis revealed a model that highlighted the importance of values-alignment within the role-hierarchy (e. g., principal and teacher) for increasing teachers’ motivation to implement professional development. The analysis also emphasized ways that relationship affiliations are influenced by the values-alignment within a role-hierarchy. Furthermore, perceptions of personal control also influenced the relationship affiliation among role-hierarchy individuals. The model revealed that a combination of SDT (Deci & Ryan, 2000) and Control-Value theory (Pekrun, 2006) elements more fully described the cycle of building and maintenance of relationship affiliation among different role-hierarchy individuals.
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