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MSPMAP 2 Profile

MSP-MAP II: Teacher Motivation in Professional Development


Investigators from the University of Michigan and the University of California - Irvine, in support of partnership projects of the Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program, are conducting research on the role of teacher motivation in professional development (PD). The Math and Science Partnership - Motivation Assessment Program II (MSP-MAP II) is building on (a) capacity developed during prior work, (b) current partnerships with two MSP projects, TEAM-Math (Alabama) and TASEL-M (California), and (c) the development of new collaborations, most notably with the Georgia-based Partnership for Reform in Science and Mathematics. Whereas the MSP program has demonstrated success in improving teacher content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge, as well as student proficiency in mathematics and science, the MSP-MAP II project answers a fundamental need to examine the influence of teacher motivation for and engagement in teacher PD. While motivational concerns are often alluded to in PD programs (e.g., participation incentives or teacher confidence), the motivational processes in teacher PD remains an understudied component of teacher training interventions in general, and in MSP interventions in particular. Recognition of the importance of teacher motivation in the PD process arises at a time of renewed focus on teacher motivation, but what distinguishes current work is its comprehensive application of contemporary motivation theory and research. This research offers a range of constructs and assessment tools that are relevant to the process of PD in mathematics and science instruction, and to the formative and summative evaluation of teacher PD interventions in the MSP program.

MSP-MAP II is systematically applying current work on teacher motivation to the domain of teacher PD with the following goals:

  1. developing a knowledge base of motivation theory, research and assessment that is relevant for the PD process;

  2. developing and making available a suite of motivation-related reliable and valid assessment tools for MSP projects to use for formative and summative evaluation;

  3. collaborating with MSP projects to test and refine the proposed model of motivation in teacher PD;

  4. facilitating the incorporation of the model and motivation-related PD assessment tools into existing and future MSP logic models and evaluation designs; and

  5. disseminating the PD model and assessment tools to the broader teaching and research communities.

MSP-MAP II is accomplishing its goals by surveying more than 2,000 teachers at various stages of PD. Through its systematic study of teacher motivation in PD, MSP-MAP II is contributing to the growing theoretical and empirical literature on teacher motivation, particularly in regard to expectancy-value, achievement goals and interest theories.