Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Exploring Ways to Support Teachers' Use of Instructional Practices: A Principal's Action Research Investigation
by Fitzgerald, Sheilah E., Ed.D., Lindenwood University, 2016, 166; 10128159
Abstract (Summary)

This study investigated the role of the school administrator in helping teachers to use instructional practices that led to improved student learning outcomes. The data indicated that teachers were comfortable learning from other teacher-leaders in the school. Teachers responded favorably to opportunities to participate in collegial observation and being provided specific feedback to stimulate growth. The study also confirmed that teachers looked to the school administrator to provide necessary resources and funding for professional development opportunities. Teachers need to be provided ongoing opportunities to learn and grow together through meaningful grade-level team meeting.

This study took place during the 2010–2011 school year, and investigated individually and collectively four initiatives: reorganizing grade-level team meetings to facilitate better coordination, collaboration, and peer consultation; gearing professional development opportunities toward proven learning strategies; engaging the teachers in reflective practices for self-improvement; and engaging the teachers in keeping professional growth logs. Teachers were asked to respond to a questionnaire created by the principal, to complete feedback forms as a follow up to each professional development workshop, and to evaluate the effectiveness of grade-level teams using a scoring guide. An analysis of MAP and Tungsten data, teacher created goals/outcomes, and walk-through data was used to evaluate student growth, as well.

A narrow focus on analyzing and using data to make instructional decisions had an impact on standardized test result. The instructional leaders were responsible for helping staff to understand and interpret data, create short-term and long-term goals, monitor the progress and celebrate success.

An underlying theme evolved during the study, encompassing the importance of the school leader to build positive relationships and lines of communication with the staff to guide them toward the improvement of instructional practices.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Weir, Graham
Commitee: Gibbs, Yvonne, Long, John
School: Lindenwood University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 77/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational leadership, Teacher education
Keywords: Collegial observation, Peer consultation, Professional development
Publication Number: 10128159
ISBN: 9781339861883
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