Teacher engagement in professional development for marine environmental education implied by the stages of concern framework

Hung Shan Li, Shiang Yao Liu*, Li Shu Chen, Ting Kuang Yeh, Chia Cheng Yeh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Marine environmental education is a crucial topic that should be addressed by elementary and secondary school curricula. Teachers are expected to be capable of implementing marine education by adopting appropriate materials and effective teaching strategies. Consequently, there is an increasing need for teachers’ professional development to consider this educational field. A community of practice (CoP) professional development program was designed in this study to meet this need. The program has three phases: recruitment, stimulation, and collaboration. This article mainly reports the survey results of 29 participants collected during the teacher recruitment phase. In the recruitment survey, the majority of participants expressed motivation to increase their knowledge regarding marine environmental issues as well as to gather teaching resources. Data collected from the Stages of Concern (SoC) questionnaire revealed that only seven participants considered themselves experienced at teaching marine environmental science. These participants were either concerned about the effect on students of teaching in this field or interested in working with others.Six out of these seven participants continued to be active in the CoP program. Unfortunately, the majority of participants presented nonuser traits, had the highest concerns regarding stage 0 (awareness) or stage 1 (informational), and were less willing to remain in the program. This study endorses the theoretical model of the SoC, finding that the higher level of concern a participant has,the more likely he/she will be to continue to engage in professional development. The results also suggest that CoP as the goal of a professional program may fulfill the demands of experienced users regarding collaboration and improving learning outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)95-124
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Research in Education Sciences
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sept


  • Community of practice (CoP)
  • Marine environmental education
  • Stages of concern (SoC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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