The Math and Science Partnership – Motivation Assessment Program
MSP-MAP was established to make available and promote the use of reliable and valid scales for the measurement of motivation-related person and situation variables that influence math and science achievement. MSP-MAP (2003-2007) primarily focused on students, but included teachers as well. MSP-MAP II (2009-2014) is concerned with teachers’ motivation to engage in professional development. Information about the rationale and goals of MSP-MAP II is also found under the “About” menu.
Most teachers participate in some form of professional development (PD) either voluntarily or contractually. The impact of PD depends on whether teachers are motivated and engaged in those experiences. The more PD is considered interesting, useful, and important, the more likely teachers will absorb new ideas, approaches, and skills and apply them to the benefit of their students. The program of research and development described here (a) identified the features of PD interventions that are related to teachers’ motivation to participate and be engaged in PD and (b) constructed a series of scales to assess the extent that PD programs include those features. This report presents results of that effort for Math and Science Partnership programs with PD components.
MSP-MAP will support the MSP program by assisting MSPs in PDM survey design and online data collection using versions of the surveys described here, with appropriate modifications. This will allow MSPs to determine the extent that teachers are likely to find PD programs attractive and engaging, and the likelihood they would adopt the PD recommended practices. The only request is that MSP-MAP retains anonymized teacher data to: (a) build a cumulative store of data to improve the design of subsequent MSP PDM surveys, (b) accumulate data for normative comparisons, and (c) provide information for reporting to the MSP community. In each case, a memo of understanding between MSP-MAP and MSPs will detail the conditions for data sharing.
Teacher professional development (PD) is an essential feature of instructional interventions in general, and for the improvement of students’ math and science learning and achievement in particular. The more motivated teachers are to participate and engage in PD, the more likely they will be to profit from the experience. Teacher motivation in PD is directly linked with classroom enactment of PD approaches, content and skills, and it is indirectly related to increasing the likelihood of desirable student outcomes. Informed by theory and empirical evidence from research on student and teacher motivation, and by a model of teacher motivation to participate in PD (PDM), a national study of teachers (n = 552) examined the level of PDM, teachers’ experiences in PD, and their perceived benefits of PD. Also examined were how perceived experiences and benefits were associated with features of PD programs and teacher and contextual factors.
MSP-MAP II developed and implemented a recent online survey utilizing a national sample of over 500 secondary school teachers. The study provided further evidence for the role of teacher motivation and the implementation of PD recommended practices. A considerable amount of information is also provided regarding preferred forms of PD, adding to evidence that supports the desirability of multiple-session formats. This information is critical for the design of survey instruments that will soon become available for administration to teachers prior to, during, and subsequent to their engagement in PD. The following are included:
- Extent and type of PD participation
- Support for participation in PD and general support
- PDM and motivational effects of experienced PD
- PD implementation
- Teacher beliefs and practices
Teacher Motivation and Professional Development: A Guide to Resources provides information on teacher motivation for those planning, conducting, and evaluating PD in math and science. Over 250 resources relevant to teacher motivation and PD were identified and categorized. Categories are described with representative citations, commentaries, and examples to facilitate the search for relevant information. General trends in the literature are noted, including the importance of teacher self-efficacy, the need for collaboration, intrinsic rewards, teacher autonomy, administrative support, and education policy. Given limitations in the existing literature, it was concluded that more research is needed to understand how reforms in curriculum and instruction affect teacher motivation for PD.
In addition to the summary of the literature, resources have been categorized into a searchable database according to keywords that were used to describe or define teacher motivation related to professional development. Searching by categories will yield a list. It should be recognized that many resources are assigned to multiple categories.
Poster Presented at the 2013 Learning Network Conference