Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Qualitative Single Case Study on Backward Design Lesson Planning Experiences of Teachers in a Professional Learning Community
by Herro, Dan, Ed.D., Northcentral University, 2018, 107; 10746537
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative single case study on backward design lesson planning experiences of teachers in a professional learning community focused on gaining a better understanding of collaborative planning of standards-based learning intentions, success criteria, assessments, and activities as performed by four participants meeting daily in one high school content area department. The backward design lesson planning model contains three stages, including development of standards-based learning objectives, learning objective-based assessments, and assessment criteria-based authentic learning activities. The research problem was informed by multiple selections from the body of literature in the field of education on backward design lesson planning, curriculum evaluation frameworks, and suggestions for a need to better understand collaborative planning, backward design curricula, professional development-informed planning and practice, and professional learning community interactions in designing curricula. The purpose of the study was to better understand how teachers develop standards-derived learning intentions, success criteria, assessments, and activities through the backward design lesson planning model. The conceptual framework was constructed from a synthesis of findings from quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods peer-reviewed research reports in the field of curriculum and teaching. Synthesized findings informed the structure and sections of the conceptual framework, supporting the purpose of the research in better understanding connections between components of traditional linear curriculum evaluation, the three stages of backward design, and the need to better understand interactions between professional development practice of new curriculum development initiatives, implementation of new initiatives in professional learning community lesson plan design, and teacher perceptions of planning lessons through the lens of backward design. Through observational field notes and open-ended questionnaires pertaining to the three stages of backward design lesson development, teacher actions observed during professional learning community meetings and experiences noted by teachers on questionnaire forms indicated that teachers utilized their common lesson planning time in deriving learning objectives from content area standards, generating formative assessments for ongoing feedback to inform teaching and learning, generating rubrics for clarity in the relationship between success criteria and the satisfying of learning objectives, and sequencing activities based on ability levels of individual learners so that challenges were scaffolded based on cognitive complexity, with the goal of all students meeting learning objectives. Potential impacts of study results include integration of backward design lesson planning into professional development programs and professional learning community curriculum development programs for alignment, clarity, and congruency between content area department standards, objectives, assessments, and activities. Recommendations for future research informed by minor themes uncovered during the study include a need for further study of teacher perceptions of standards-based grading practices.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Snair, Scott, Gates, Amy
Commitee: Gates, Amy, Riggle, Blair, Snair, Scott, Throne, Robin
School: Northcentral University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 79/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational evaluation, Education, Teacher education, Curriculum development
Keywords: Backward design, Curriculum design, Formative assessment, Professional development, Professional learning community, Standards-based grading
Publication Number: 10746537
ISBN: 9780355674323
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