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

B.I.J.M. van der Heijden, T. van Vuuren, T.A.M. Kooij, A.H. de Lange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Hierarchical regression analyses have been used, illustrated by means of quotes – gathered through open questions in the survey – to support the quantitative 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.
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: Age, Proactive personality, Developmental opportunities, Self-perceived employability, Work engagement
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-37
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Tailoring professional development for teachers in primary education: The role of age and proactive personality'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this