Middle school engagement profiles: Implications for motivation and achievement in science


Christine Bae & M. L. DeBusk-Lane


January 1, 2019


“Teachers play a critical role in successfully implementing science education reforms in the United States to provide

high-quality science learning opportunities to all students. However, the differentiated ways in which

teachers make decisions about their science teaching are not well understood. This study takes a person-centered approach by applying latent profile analysis to examine how cognitive (pedagogical content knowledge) and motivational (instructional goal orientations, self-efficacy beliefs, and reform values) characteristics combine to form science teacher profiles in middle school. Predictors of profile membership (bachelor’s degree, school %FRL) and both teacher (science instructional practices) and

student (science achievement, engagement, and self-efficacy) outcomes related to the teacher profiles were also

examined. Five science teacher profiles were identified (severely discouraged but reform oriented, discouraged but reform oriented, conventional, confident and mastery oriented, and confident with multiple goal approaches) that represented unique configurations of cognitive and motivation characteristics. Additionally,

findings showed that the teacher profiles were significantly related to three dimensions of science instructional practice including communication, discourse, and reasoning. Finally, the teacher profiles were significantly related to student science achievement and motivational outcomes. Implications for differentiated approaches to teacher professional learning and supports for science instruction are discussed.”