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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Educator perceptions of the optimal professional development experience
by Pettet, Kent Lloyd, Ph.D., Indiana State University, 2013, 132; 3604444
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this quantitative study was to examine the educator’s perception of the optimal professional development experience. Research studies have concluded that the biggest indicator to predict student achievement is teacher effectiveness (Aaronson, Barrow, & Sander, 2007; Marzano, 2003; Sanders & Horn, 1998; Wong 2001). Guskey (2000) stated, “Never before in the history of education has greater importance been attached to the professional development of educators” (p. 3). School districts continue to face reduced budgets and continue to expend resources on professional development. In addition, states such as Indiana have recently changed their evaluation system to encourage more professional development at the school and district level. A survey was created to analyze educator perceptions of professional development in five Midwest states: Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, and Kentucky. The survey collected basic teacher demographic data: gender (male/female), licensure (elementary K–5, secondary 6–12), years of experience (0–5, 6–10, 11–15, 16–20, and 20 or more), and position type (teacher/principal). The survey consisted of 35 questions that focused on educator perceptions of professional development. In all, 396 educators from 18 school districts across five Midwest states responded to the survey instrument. A statistical analysis of the responses provided composite mean scores and standard deviations. A factorial ANOVA was used to test the first hypothesis. An independent samples t-test was used to test the second, fourth, and fifth hypotheses. A one-way ANOVA was used to test the third hypothesis. There was a significant difference between position type (teacher/principal) and licensure (elementary K–5, secondary 6–12) on their perceptions of professional development. Principals responded with a higher perception of professional development than teachers. Elementary licensure, K–5th grade teachers, also responded with a higher perception of professional development. There was no significant difference between gender (male/female) and years of experience (0–5, 6–10, 11–15, 16–20, and 20 or more). Educators responded that their perception of the most effective forms of professional development were having more time to work with colleagues (86.6%), using a professional learning community model (85.7%), and attending conferences and workshops (84.9%). In addition, educators had a higher perception of the effectiveness of professional development at the school level versus the district level.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Gruenert, Steve
Commitee: Clendening, David, Whitaker, Beth
School: Indiana State University
Department: Educational Leadership, Administration, and Foundations
School Location: United States -- Indiana
Source: DAI-A 75/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational evaluation, Educational leadership, Teacher education
Keywords: Adult learner, Process, Profession learning community, Professional development, Teacher learner, Teacher perceptions
Publication Number: 3604444
ISBN: 978-1-303-60163-7
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