A study of questions proposed by teachers using the theoretical model for changing behavior
Walker, Elizabeth T.
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The ability to change is essential in the field of education and of great concern to teacher educators. While some change initiatives have succeeded, many others have failed to be transformative or sustainable. A need exists to better understand the process of behavioral change to inform the design and evaluation of change initiatives and assess progress using a common vocabulary. This study addresses this need by synthesizing change models from clinical psychology, advertising design, and social cultural learning to create a theoretical model for behavioral change. A temporal change model composed of stages has theoretical and practical significance for those promoting behavioral change in education and other professional fields. This new framework was applied to two groups of pre- and in-service teachers engaged in a change initiative around questioning behavior. Data analyses indicated that individuals entered the model at different entry points and moved sequentially through stages, with participants generating the lowest pre-intervention percentages of the target behavior making the most amount of relative change. Qualitative data revealed resistance to change due to personal attitudes and beliefs about roles in conjunction with the behavior. The utilization of behavioral change as the focus of this study necessitated the reconceptualization of behavior as scientific knowledge capable of being defined, modeled, and taught. Additional theoretical and practical significance is the positioning of other behaviors as knowledge, capable of being structured and generalized.