Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


College of Education and Human Services


Teacher Education and Teacher Development

Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Katrina Bulkley

Committee Member

Helenrose Fives

Committee Member

Nicole Barnes


The purpose of this study is to understand teacher perceptions of a self-directed professional learning model named Go Time. I examined the factors that influenced teacher learning and motivation to sustain learning in this model. This study contributes to the research on teacher professional development by examining a model that is self-directed and rooted in reflective practice. The study utilized a basic qualitative design in which 10 participants from a single school district participated in two rounds of semi-structured interviews. The purpose of the data collection was to understand teacher’s prior perceptions of professional development and their more current perceptions of the self-directed professional development initiative they are taking part in called Go Time. Specifically, what factors did teachers report within the Go Time model that influenced their learning and motivation to learn? The theoretical frame that guides this study is Self-Determination Theory. This theory recognizes how the feelings of autonomy, competence, and relatedness contribute to an individual’s motivation to engage in an activity. The findings from this study indicate that the factors that influenced teacher motivation to learn were: relevance, professional trust, opportunities for reflective practice, an environment supportive of learning, and relatedness through personal learning networks. The findings of this study suggest that the design of this self-directed model of professional development, which provides teachers with autonomy to select their learning goals and activities, positively influences motivation to engage in learning.

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