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Project I.D. Project Instrument Development. Empowerment in Career Science Teachers: Instrument Development for Exploring the Professional Growth Continuum Funded by the National Science Foundation Presented by: Dr. Mary Hobbs, P.I. and Amy Moreland, M.S.

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project i d project instrument development

Project I.D.Project Instrument Development

Empowerment in Career Science Teachers:

Instrument Development for Exploring the Professional Growth Continuum

Funded by the National Science Foundation

Presented by:

Dr. Mary Hobbs, P.I. and Amy Moreland, M.S.

The University of Texas at Austin

purpose of the study
Purpose of the Study
  • This study focuses on experienced teachers in an attempt to identify factors that may have contributed to their professional growth and retention.
  • The purpose of this research is to identify those pivotal experiences of career science teachers that have promoted their advancement along the teacher professional continuum and have helped them to persist in their careers.
challenges
Challenges
  • Much of the recent education research has focused on new teachers and why large numbers of teachers are leaving the profession.
  • Few studies have focused on experienced teachers in an attempt to identify factors that may have contributed to their professional growth and retention.
research questions
Research Questions
  • What are those impacting events that contribute to teacher’s overall sense of empowerment?
  • What professional growth experiences do teachers recall as having a positive and pivotal impact on their empowerment?
  • Is there a pattern to the experiences that is common to all empowered career science teachers?
research questions5
Research Questions
  • What, if any, is the relationship between the Empowerment Cycle as proposed by Hobbs (2004) and those pivotal professional development experiences?
  • What are some implications for professional development for pre-service teachers? For new teachers? For mid-career teachers? For master teachers?
  • Assuming that teachers reach a critical point in their careers around their ninth year, what professional development opportunities should be afforded them so that they can find the personal and professional fulfillment that they need to stay in the classroom?
timeline
Timeline
  • Year One: Fifty career science teachers were interviewed using Behavior over Time (BOT) graphing techniques.
  • Year Two: Conduct regional focus group meetings with the teachers who were interviewed in Year 1. Survey instrument is developed and piloted.
  • Year Three: Online instrument is administered to 250 teachers.
methodology
Methodology
  • The teachers begin by telling their stories and drawing a behavior over time (BOT) graph which chronicles their experiences of empowerment
  • Subsequently each constructs an overlay graph showing his/her perceptions of experiences with the dimensions of empowerment
definition of empowerment
Definition of Empowerment

The opportunity and confidence to act upon one’s ideas and to influence the way one performs in one’s profession.

- Melenyzer (1990)

six dimensions of teacher empowerment short 1992
Six Dimensions of Teacher Empowerment- Short (1992)
  • Autonomy
  • Decision Making
  • Impact
  • Professional Growth
  • Self-efficacy
  • Status
analyses
Analyses
  • Changes and patterns on the graphs are identified and associated with key events in the teachers’ lives
  • The techniques of Narrative Inquiryand Systems Dynamics are employed to show connections and interactions
slide13

Confidence Self-efficacy Evidence of Student Success Status

Increasingly Targeted Professional Growth

Empowerment Model 2

Arena of Personal Empowerment

Professional Development

Fueling Process

Personal Maturity

Maturing Feelings of Autonomy

Naive Feelings of Freedom Opportunities for Decision-making Impact

Arena of Organizational Empowerment

qualitative analyses
Qualitative Analyses

Transcript

Codes

Code

Frequency

  • Atlas TI Qualitative Analysis Software
  • Imported and Coded 50 transcripts
  • Compared Transcripts

Visual

Coding

Display

results phases of empowerment

Phase 1: Initiating Empowerment

  • Phase 2: Increasing Empowerment
  • Phase 3: Sustaining Empowerment

Results: Phases of Empowerment

results
Results
  • During the Initiating Phase (Years 1-3) teachers recalled struggling with their lack of preparation yet growing in confidence as they practiced their craft in their classrooms.
  • During the Increasing Phase (Years 4-8) teachers recalled becoming more aware of professional development opportunities.
  • During the Sustaining Phase (Years 9+) these teachers saw learning as a lifelong process.
  • By Year 9 the teachers’ graphs all showed a leveling of empowerment, indicating different professional development needs for the most mature teachers.
slide21
The study advances understanding of what kinds of PD experiences are most empowering for teachers at various stages of their careers.

Contribution to Science Education

implication of the study
Implication of the Study
  • The most effective professional development offerings would target teacher needs and interests as influenced by the three phases of empowerment.
researcher contact information
Researcher Contact Information

Mary E. Hobbs, Ph.D.

Coordinator for Science Initiatives

Texas Regional Collaboratives

University of Texas at Austin

maryhobbs@mail.utexas.edu

James P. Barufaldi, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Texas Regional Collaboratives

University of Texas at Austin

jamesb@mail.utexas.edu

Amy L. Moreland, M.S.

Graduate Research Assistant

University of Texas at Austin

amy_moreland@mail.utexas.edu