The Role of Newly Prepared PBL Teachers' Motivational Beliefs and Perceptions of School Conditions in their Project Based Learning Implementation




English, Mary C.

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The purpose of this exploratory survey study was to investigate the role of motivational beliefs and perceptions of school conditions in K-12 teachers' implementation of PBL following their completion of introductory PBL training. Specifically, this study examined how much of the variance in the extent of PBL implementation was explained by demographic variables, perceptions of school conditions, self-efficacy, outcome expectancy, and task value. Further, qualitative data were collected to determine what factors teachers reported as impacting their PBL implementation and motivation during the semester after completing the introductory training. The sample included 343 teachers from schools throughout the U.S. A portion of the sample was from New Tech Network (NT) schools, where a whole school reform approach to PBL is in place. Several surveys were administered and eighteen interviews were conducted. A comparison of NT and non-NT teachers showed that NT teachers had significantly higher task value, perceptions of school conditions, and extent of PBL implementation than non-NT teachers. A regression analysis showed that the NT versus non-NT variable played the largest role in extent of implementation, followed by perceptions of school conditions (including a flexible curriculum, block or flexible scheduling, and adequate student technology access), level of PBL experience, and motivation. Task value was the only motivational belief found to have played a significant role in extent of implementation. Further, analyses showed that overall, perceptions of school conditions, motivational beliefs, and plans for implementation versus actual implementation decreased significantly between Time 1 (immediately following introductory training) and Time 2 (after the first two months of implementation efforts). Analysis of responses to open-ended survey data showed that time and students were the factors most frequently reported as impacting both implementation and motivation. Interview data indicated that while some teachers are more motivated to implement PBL than others, motivation improves as teachers gain experience with PBL and the level of student learning and engagement increase. A supportive school environment also contributes to teachers' PBL motivation. Based on the findings, implications for practice and recommendations for future research are included.



Educational psychology, Education, Teacher education, Implementation, Motivation, PBL, Project based learning, Self-efficacy, Task value