The role of teachers' commitment to implement in delivering evidence-based social-emotional learning programs

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Although there are reasons to believe that teachers' commitment to learn and enact an evidence-based program (i.e., their commitment to implement) predicts their implementation fidelity, there is surprisingly little quantitative research testing this relationship. Using a national large-scale evaluation of three preschool social-emotional interventions, this study investigated how strongly teachers' commitment predicted implementation fidelity and whether commitment was a meaningful predictor of fidelity as compared to other individual factors (i.e., teacher stress at baseline) and contextual factors (i.e., collegial supports, classroom behavioral problems, and classroom quality at baseline). We surveyed 230 preschool teachers in their first year of implementing the interventions; data sources include surveys from teachers and 52 intervention coaches as well as classroom observational data. We found that teachers' baseline commitment consistently predicted implementation fidelity across time and that commitment predicted unique variation in fidelity after accounting for other individual and contextual factors. In addition, implementation fidelity had a moderate positive relationship with teachers' baseline classroom quality and a small negative association with baseline classroom behavior problems. Findings are discussed with respect to implementation science in education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-100
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of School Psychology
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Implementation science
  • Professional development
  • Program implementation
  • Teacher attitudes
  • Teacher improvement
  • Teacher motivation
  • Teacher, education programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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