Positive deviance and teacher change
Quintero, Sharon Carroll
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The purpose of this study was to explore what stimulates and supports teachers to engage in the positively deviant behavior of an individual change process to improve classroom practices. Three research questions guided this study. First, what propels teachers to engage in positive deviant behavior to change their classroom practices? Second, what did teachers engaging in positive deviant behavior do to improve classroom practices? Third, what strategies, tactics, and support systems are important for individuals displaying positive deviant behavior in organizational contexts? Eight teachers from different schools within four different systems were purposely selected for this study. A qualitative approach was chosen for this study in order to explore the emotional and personal experiences of each teacher’s change processes. I interviewed each teacher using an interview guide to capture answers to the three guiding research questions. After transcribing each interview each teacher had the opportunity to affirm and clarify what I had captured and interpreted. I conducted constant comparative analysis of the data from all eight interviews. Three conclusions emerged from this study. First, emotions are a key stimulus in recognizing a problem and engaging in attempts to change . Second, a strong self-efficacy and self-determination achieve effective change processes and positive deviant behaviors. Third, teachers who engage in behaviors of positivity and positive deviance reap more classroom gains and personal satisfaction in his or her work and life.