Date of Award

2017

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Education

Department

College of Education and Human Services

First Advisor

Boboc, Marius

Subject Headings

Education

Abstract

The International Baccalaureate Organization’s Middle Years Programme (IBMYP) has experienced explosive growth in the United States since its early stages in 1994. Despite its aggressive expansion, little research has explored the relationship between teachers and the program, ignoring the role of motivation in the ways in which the external standards and practices of the program are internalized and enacted. External regulation threatens teachers’ autonomous motivation and is thus associated with compliance attitudes, increased burnout, and less autonomy-support in the classroom. Conversely, teachers who experience more autonomous motivation are generally more creative, resist burnout, and inspire lifelong learning in students.

This research aimed to identify factors which predicted heightened degrees of autonomous motivation in IBMYP teachers, providing practical insight for schools as they continually strive to implement the program. Factors were examined at two levels with teacher-level factors nested within school-level factors and tested for their predictive value through hierarchical linear modeling (HLM). Teacher-level data was gathered through reliable questionnaires that collected data about participants’ motivational array towards the IBMYP standards and practices in addition to descriptive factors related to these outcomes. School-level data was collected via questionnaire from each participating school’s IBMYP coordinator, the program pedagogical liaison and leader.

Results indicated that the program coordinator’s perceived competence, the amount of time they have dedicated to coordinating the program, the number or workshops a teacher has participated in, and the year at which the IBMYP terminates positively related to higher degrees of autonomous motivation towards varying aspects of the program. Increases in a school’s IBMYP-focused professional learning days predicted increases to autonomous motivation towards the program at-large, teaching and learning, and assessment, yet overall increases in a school’s total number of professional learning days predicted decreases in teachers’ autonomous motivation towards program assessment.

Practitioners of the IBMYP may utilize these results to enhance their structure and policies to facilitate increases in autonomous motivation towards the IBMYP. By doing so, teachers are likely to internalize more control of the program and approach its implementation in more creative, resilient, value-aligned ways.

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