Exploring the Relationship Between Teachers' Motivation Orientation and the Efficacy of Two Professional Development Models
Human Development and Family Studies
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Positive teacher-child interactions are meaningfully tied to child academic and social outcomes, particularly for children in pre-K through the 3rd grade where quality teaching can have the greatest impact (Burchinal et al., 2008; Crawford, Cobb, Clifford, & Ritchie, 2013; Hamre & Pianta, 2001). Teaching practices vary immensely in quality, however, professional development that uses observational measures and contextual feedback has the potential to address this variance (Shore, 2009). Goal Orientation Theory provides an ideal framework to understand how teachers' internal motivation patterns impact effort and change in behavior resulting from professional development opportunities (Dweck, 1999). Here, using a quasi-experimental method, two professional development models were compared, coaching and student-centered learning teams (SCLT), through the lens of goal orientation theory. Change in teacher behavior was measured through fall and spring Classroom Assessment Scoring System (CLASS) scores. This study found marginal support for increases in the CLASS domain of instructional support resulting from both professional development programs, and support for increases in the CLASS domain of emotional support for coaching alone. Results indicate that teachers with learning orientations are most likely to participate in challenging professional development programs. However, more research is needed to determine the impact of goal orientation on change in behavior and the efficacy of professional development.