Living in an interconnected global society requires teachers to deliver the best educational experiences to students in all content areas. Teachers need to be well equipped with the latest instructional strategies that will engage all students. However, many teachers continue to receive professional development (PD) opportunities that are not individualized to meet the needs of the teachers, which can negatively impact the students' learning and the morale of teachers. The purpose of this mixed methods action research study was to determine the effects that a piloted differentiated PD program had on teacher perceptions of professional development, on their instruction and on their morale. The study examined how secondary world languages teachers at Knightsbridge High School identified areas of growth within their field and collaborated with one another or worked independently to create professional learning opportunities that were meaningful and purposeful to fit their individual needs. Data were collected through pre and post surveys, teacher interviews and focus groups as well as an administrator interview. The findings indicated that the differentiated PD pilot program allowed teachers to create a learning organization where teachers communicated, provided feedback and changed their instructional practices through multiple self-directed learning opportunities. As a result of this study, teachers felt empowered, valued and proud of being world languages teachers, thereby establishing positive morale among the participants. However, teachers also indicated that the lack of common planning time adversely affected the morale of the participants. Recommendations to transition and implement a differentiated PD program are provided.
|Commitee:||Ciccone, Joseph, Grant, Kimberly|
|School:||College of Saint Elizabeth|
|School Location:||United States -- New Jersey|
|Source:||DAI-A 74/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Foreign Language, Educational leadership, Education Policy|
|Keywords:||Differentiated learning, Professional development, Professional learning, Systems thinking, Teachers of world languages|
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