An Evidence-Informed Study to Determine Why Singapore Teachers Engage in Professional Development 2012 - 2014

Funding Agency: EFRP, NIE/NTU Role: Principal Investigator

Set against the motivation for NIE/GPL to enhance Teacher Professional Development (TPD) in meeting the needs of our stakeholders, the question of what makes a  teacher want to engage in TPD was raised. While a literature scan has shown numerous studies on TPD that advocate different types of PD that teachers consider effective, there exists little consensus on which type of PD works best, and consequently no conclusion on what makes a teacher want to do TPD can be drawn. Specifically, the Singapore literature suffers from a dearth of emipirical study to show what motivates a teacher to do TPD. Adopting a social pyschology framework of Planned Behaviour Theory (TPB), this study seeks to address the research problem above through a baseline study and an extended exploration on the factors affecting a teacher's motivation to do TPD. Indeed, Planned Behaviour Theory explicates the process that translates beliefs into behaviour. Three main concepts of attitude towards belief, subjective beliefs and perceived  behaviourial control will anchor the inquiry into what makes a teacher want to engage in TPD. A variety of data collection methods are proposed to study this. In-depth interview and questionnaire survey will be used to construct the baseline while observations and fieldwork will deepen the exploration and provide the triangulation to data collection, essentially  improving the reliability of the study. A series of univariate/bivariate statistical, document and content analyses will be undertaken. The findings from this study will present important implications for NIE such as in informing the institution on how PD is made sense on the ground. At the same time, it is envisioned to provide information for the group in rethinking its course and if needed, modifying its nature of service delivery.    


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