Educators’ attitudes about professional development, self-efficacy, and subjective well-being in early childhood programs
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The purpose of this quantitative investigation, was to gain a better understanding about Head Start teachers’ attitudes concerning their professional development experiences, self-efficacy beliefs, and general sense of happiness as it relates to job satisfaction. The study compared the professional development experiences of Head Start teachers with interventions based on two curriculum approaches. Teachers volunteering as participants, (n = 255), were employed at Head Start Centers located in Central Texas that shared a preschool program-based partnership with an Independent School District in the Central Texas, serving approximately 3,000 children. Teachers implementing Scholastic Big Day for Pre-K curriculum (n = 88), or the Frog Street for Pre-Kindergarten curriculum (n = 167) completed one of two online surveys from a secured website. The Survey of Head Start Teachers Using Frog Street For Pre-Kindergarten Curriculum, and the Survey of Head Start Teachers Using Scholastic Big Day for Pre-K Curriculum included demographics and questions relating to professional development experiences measured by Teachers’ Attitudes About Professional Development (TAP) scale (Torff et al., 2005), perceptions of their teaching abilities quantified on the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES) (Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001), and teachers’ general sense of happiness was determined by the Teacher Subjective Wellbeing Questionnaire (TSWQ) (Renshaw, Long, & Cook, 2015). Data gathered from the surveys were transferred into IBM SPSS 20 for analyses. The TAP, TSES and TSWQ were analyzed via descriptive and inferential statistics including ANOVAs and MANOVAs to answer the five research questions. The findings from the data indicates that the majority of the Head Start teachers had positive attitudes about their professional development activities, believed the workshops with active participation enhanced their pedagogical knowledge and was worth their time. In regards to the teachers’ self- efficacy and subjective wellbeing, both curriculum groups have similarly high levels of self - efficacy beliefs and degrees of happiness relating to job satisfaction.