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Tailoring professional development for teachers in primary education: The role of age and proactive personality

Béatrice I.J.M. Van der Heijden (Institute for Management Research, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, the Netherlands AND School of Management, Open Universiteit in the Netherlands, Heerlen, the Netherlands AND School of Management and Governance, University of Twente, Enschede, the Netherlands)
Tinka C. V. Van Vuuren (Loyalis Kennis & Consult, Heerlen, the Netherlands AND School of Management, Open Universiteit in the Netherlands, Heerlen, the Netherlands)
Dorien T.A.M. Kooij (Department of Human Resource Studies, Tilburg University, Tilburg, the Netherlands)
Annet H. de Lange (Department of Human Resource Management, HAN University of Applied Sciences, Arnhem, the Netherlands AND Norwegian School of Hotel Management, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 9 February 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this survey study among N=180 Dutch teachers was to examine the moderating role of calendar age and proactive personality in the relationships between developmental opportunities, on the one hand, and work engagement and self-perceived employability, on the other. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Hierarchical regression analyses have been used, illustrated by means of quotes – gathered through open questions in the survey – to support the quantitative findings.

Findings

A significant interaction effect between calendar age and developmental opportunities in relation to self-perceived employability, but not to work engagement, has been found, revealing stronger positive effects for developmental opportunities among older workers than among younger ones.

Research limitations/implications

The present study provides a starting-point for further research on professional development in other occupational settings.

Practical implications

The use of age-conscious developmental opportunities is a powerful tool in encouraging life-long learning.

Social implications

Improvement in teachers’ engagement and employability will enhance their performance, will consequently lead to better pupil performance, and will contribute to the wider status of the profession, meaning that more young talented people will seriously consider working in the field and thereby helping to address the urgent need for more teaching staff.

Originality/value

This study increases the knowledge of professional development among teachers and examines to what extent age and proactivity play a role in this regard. The results of the empirical work challenge dominant views on age-related declines and losses, and invite the authors to continue scholarly work in this field focussing upon long-term intra-individual development.

Keywords

Citation

Van der Heijden, B.I.J.M., Van Vuuren, T.C.V., Kooij, D.T.A.M. and de Lange, A.H. (2015), "Tailoring professional development for teachers in primary education: The role of age and proactive personality", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 22-37. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-07-2014-0211

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited