Teachers’ Engagement in Continuing Professional Development: Exploring Profiles and Factors

cam.supervisorDudley, Peter
dc.contributor.authorJi, Ying
dc.description.abstractAt the beginning of this present research, I had observed that the concept of engagement is receiving increased attention because it offers considerable benefits for research and classroom practice. However, compared with the rich body of research on work engagement and student engagement in the past decade, few studies have investigated teacher engagement, particularly in teacher CPD in my research context - China. Current research suggests that the potential of understanding teacher engagement in CPD has not yet been fully realized. Thus, the purpose of this research was to explore and identify distinct profiles and factors of teachers’ engagement in professional development, and further, to investigate whether the effects of these engagement factors vary in relation to different forms of CPD activities. The data above were gathered from teachers in China through two studies using four collection instruments: two questionnaire surveys and two semi-structured interviews in a mixed-methods research design. The results of the current study have identified three teacher engagement profiles, Less Engaged, Moderately Engaged and Highly Engaged, in terms of varying degrees and levels of engagement in CPD. The factor analysis has revealed that four factors predict teachers’ engagement in their professional development: Cognitive Factors, Instrumental Factors, Self-Actualizing factors and CPD Cultural Factors. Furthermore, teachers’ years of experience and education-levels are related to all four instrumental factors, with teachers in their late professional career phase (21+years of experience) and teachers with only ‘associate’ degrees reporting less influence exerted by instrumental factors on their engagement in CPD. Female teachers had greater engagement and reported greater impact than male teachers on teaching practice when it involved peer observation with feedback. Along with these results, female teachers also reported greater influence of two of the Self-Actualizing Factors: peer feedback and public recognition. In order to better understand the internal relationship between these factors, I propose a factor-based model of teachers’ engagement in professional development. Moreover, I have investigated the variation in the perceived impacts of these identified factors on facilitating teachers’ engagement in three different formats of CPD activities in schools in China (Teaching Research Teams [TRT], Teaching Research Groups [TRG] and Research Lesson Study [RLS]). Results revealed that respondents were more driven by identified factors to engage in RLS and TRG but displayed much lower engagement in TRT. In specific, the combination of Intellectual and CPD Cultural Factors was most likely to predict respondents’ engagement in the three CPD activities. Self-Actualizing Factors most strongly affected teachers’ engagement in RLS. Instrumental Factors were found only to exert strong effects on novice mentee teachers and some TRG group leaders, but not on other TRG members.
dc.publisher.institutionUniversity of Cambridge
dc.rightsAll Rights Reserved
dc.subjectTeacher Continuing Professional Development; Teacher Learning; Teacher Engagement; Teacher Engagement in Continuing Professional Development;
dc.titleTeachers’ Engagement in Continuing Professional Development: Exploring Profiles and Factors
dc.type.qualificationnameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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