Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Professional Development for School Board Members in New Jersey: Knowledge and Application of Governance Training Skills by New School Board Members
by Koop, Kathleen, Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2019, 222; 22582689
Abstract (Summary)

When school board of education members in the state of New Jersey are elected or appointed, they begin their service with a diverse array of experiences, skills, and knowledge. Some board of education members may possess the skills and knowledge to be effective board of education members, while others may not be prepared to be governance leaders. To educate board members about the knowledge and skills required for school board of education governance, there is a law that mandates professional development for school board of education members. The New Jersey School Boards Association (NJSBA) oversees and offers the professional development. School board members, whose terms are three years and renewable, are required to attend certain topics of training depending upon their number of terms served and the year they are serving within their term. The NJSBA offers trainings online and face-to-face. In addition to the mandated training, the Association also offers optional professional development on a variety of other board topics.

For the purpose of this study, new school board members are identified as members elected in November 2017 and have never served on a board of education before. This research focused on new school board members and their participation in the February, 2018 weekend governance training provided by the NJSBA.

The study investigated new school board members’ governance knowledge before and after the training, the retention of learned governance knowledge, and the perceptions of the new school board members about how they utilized their learned governance training skills from the mandated training in their practices. To investigate the learned governance knowledge, the retention of knowledge, and application of learned governance skills, school board participants were surveyed and interviewed. In partnership with the New Jersey School Boards Association, surveys were administered three times. The first survey was administered before the mandated governance training and the second survey was administered immediately after the completion of the governance training weekend during the final group session on a Sunday morning. The third survey was administered 3-6 months after the training to assess for retention of knowledge and application of skills. Interviews were conducted during the months of August through October of 2018.

The results of this research study from the data from the three surveys and the data from the interviews, indicated that the study sample participants learned knowledge and skills from the governance training weekend. In addition, the participants in the interviews, indicated that they perceived that they applied the skills and knowledge they learned from the training in their governance practices.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Supovitz, Jonathan A.
Commitee: Sokoloff, Harris, Sargent, Barbara
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, Educational administration
Keywords: Board of education, Governance professional development, School board governance, School board member professional development, School board members, School boards
Publication Number: 22582689
ISBN: 9781085674638
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