European Journal of Psychology of Education

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 169–186 | Cite as

Using the theory of planned behavior to predict teachers’ likelihood of taking a competency-based approach to instruction

  • Anna Eva LenskiEmail author
  • Dirk Richter
  • Oliver Lüdtke


Quality of mathematics education has gained significant attention in educational politics and among educators as mathematics advances the foundations of analytical thinking necessary to excel in today’s knowledge-based economy. Recent research on instructional quality has focused on students’ development of competencies. Competency-based instruction is believed to be an effective approach to instruction as it is closely aligned to educational standards. We use data from the National Assessment Study 2012 in Germany and apply the theory of planned behavior to determine what motivates mathematics teachers (n = 1660) to take a competency-based approach to instruction. Results indicate that competencies outlined in the educational standards are a tangible element of current mathematics instruction. Within the framework of this study, we identified teachers’ perceived behavior control as the strongest determinant of taking a competency-based approach to instruction. We conclude that advancement of competency-based instruction depends on teachers’ beliefs about their professional resources.


Instructional quality Educational standards Mathematics instruction Large-scale assessment Theory of planned behavior 



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Copyright information

© Instituto Superior de Psicologia Aplicada, Lisboa, Portugal and Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Eva Lenski
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dirk Richter
    • 2
  • Oliver Lüdtke
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute for Educational ResearchUniversity of MainzMainzGermany
  2. 2.Department of EducationUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany
  3. 3.Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics EducationKielGermany
  4. 4.Centre for International Student AssessmentMunichGermany

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