Teachers' Learning Orientation Scale Development and Validation

Author: ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0003-3756-614X
Carroll, Christina, Psychology - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Lillard, Angeline, AS-Psychology (PSYC), University of Virginia

Every teacher possesses a dynamic system of beliefs about students and teaching (Fives & Buehl, 2012; Pajares, 1992; Richardson, 1996). While teacher beliefs may not necessarily determine classroom practices (e.g., Lee et al., 2006; McCarty et al., 2001; Simmons et al., 1999; Stipek et al., 2001; Stipek & Byler, 1997; Wilcox-Herzog, 2002), they are the lens through which teachers interpret classroom experiences and make decisions that shape the content and quality of students’ education (Nespor, 1987). The current literature on teacher beliefs development is almost exclusively based in the context of conventional pedagogy and must expand to include alternative pedagogies, such as Montessori education, if it is to reflect the current educational landscape in the United States. For this dissertation, I developed a new teacher beliefs measure, the Teachers’ Learning Orientation Scale, to accurately and reliably assess student- and teacher-oriented beliefs across conventional and Montessori contexts. I followed a five-stage validation model: (1) construct definition, (2) measurement design, (3) pilot testing, (4) factor analysis and reliability, and (5) criterion validity (Messick, 1989; Schraw & Olafson, 2014). During validation testing, the TLOS demonstrated strong internal and test-retest reliability, achieved full scalar measurement invariance across pedagogy (i.e., conventional and Montessori), and detected significant differences between teachers based on pedagogy, student age range (i.e., early childhood and elementary), school funding (i.e., public and private), and Montessori teacher certification organization. Overall, the Teachers’ Learning Orientation Scale contributes to the literature by providing a pedagogy-neutral measure of teacher- and student-oriented beliefs, expanding the study of teacher beliefs beyond the context of conventional education.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
teacher beliefs, Montessori, student-oriented, structural equation model, measure validation
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