The effects of active learning on professional development motivation in early childhood teachers.
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Copeland, Daelynn Marie, 1979-
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A quasi-experimental design was conducted to examine the motivation of in-service early childhood teachers to pursue additional professional development opportunities and implement evidence-based strategies in their classrooms after engaging in active learning professional development. Analysis of variance was used to measure the relationship between active learning and provisional development and between active learning and motivation to implement evidence-based strategies. A total of 143 educators participated in the research study, completing a survey at the end of a one day workshop. Focus groups were conducted with 33 participants and 30 participants participated in a 30-days post-intervention survey. Results suggested that, when compared to lecture-style professional development, active learning professional development was related to higher levels of professional development motivation and motivation to implement evidence-based strategies within the early childhood classroom. Initial analysis indicates that thirty days after the professional development and Wave 1 survey, the group that received active learning professional development continued to score higher in professional development motivation and motivation to implement evidence-based strategies than the group that received lecture-based professional development. These findings indicate that active learning professional development is beneficial to increasing professional development motivation, which may increase the quantity and quality of professional development increases early childhood teacher. Initial findings also indicate active learning professional development also increases early childhood teacher motivation to utilize knowledge gained in the training and actually implement the strategies within the classroom. Therefore, active learning teaching strategies could be considered a valuable component of high-quality professional development for early childhood teachers. When designing professional development workshops, trainers might consider including hands-on activities, multiple opportunities for teachers to practice instructional strategies, presentations to colleagues, reflections upon personal learning and opportunities to analyze the needs of their individual students.