Teachers’ beliefs about using a professional development plan

S Janssen, Karel Kreijns, Theo Bastiaens, Sjef Stijnen, Marjan Vermeulen

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    Professional development plans (PDPs) have recently been introduced in Dutch schools to support teachers’ professional development. However, teachers’ beliefs regarding the use of PDPs have not been systematically researched, whereas research on the use of PDPs indicates that the implementation is not always successful and depends on how use is perceived by users. Some teachers may doubt the usefulness and purpose of a PDP, and this might influence their reactions to its intro- duction. Using Fishbein and Ajzen’s theory of planned behav- iour, the current study explored teachers’ characteristics (such as age and years of experience in education) and their beliefs about intention to use a PDP. Clusters of teachers with similar characteristics and beliefs were identified to permit the design of interventions specific to each cluster. Semi-structured inter- views were conducted to reveal these beliefs and characteristics for a sample of 41 teachers working in schools where using a PDP was mandatory. The results showed that most teachers had a positive attitude towards using a PDP. However, because using a PDP was mandatory, they felt pressured to produce one. Moreover, it was not a priority. This was because of their high workload. The present study contributes to the literature by adding knowledge of teachers’ beliefs about the use of PDPs. This knowledge may help the PDP to become a more effective device in promoting teachers’ professional development.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)260-278
    Number of pages19
    JournalInternational Journal of Training and Development
    Issue number4
    Early online date22 Aug 2013
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013


    • professional development
    • professional development plan
    • PDP
    • teachers’ characteristics


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