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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Evaluating the impacts of professional development: A mixed method study of adult education learning communities
by Dilworth, Jessica S., Ph.D., Capella University, 2010, 252; 3404704
Abstract (Summary)

Adult education programs providing classes to students preparing for high school equivalency and learning English that demonstrate characteristics of learning organizations may be better able to thrive when confronted with less-than-ideal circumstances. Many of these programs organize adult educators into learning communities as the context for professional development. These teachers define themselves as learning teams, communities of practice, inquiry-centered communities, and professional learning communities. Evaluating the impacts of learning communities on students, teachers, and programs is essential in determining the return on investment of this professional development strategy.

This study described and explored how adult education learning communities contribute to programs becoming learning organizations. The concurrent mixed-method study triangulated data from the School Professional Staff as Learning Community survey (Hord, 1996), researcher-developed surveys for program administrators and teachers, and focus group sessions. The study was founded in an appreciative inquiry approach in an attempt to reveal the strengths of adult education programs. This study applied research and practice from the field of training and performance improvement to an educational context. The findings have implications for policy makers, program administrators, and teachers.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Singh, Raj
Commitee: Orem, Sara, Roy, Pat
School: Capella University
Department: School of Education
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 71/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Adult education, Teacher education
Keywords: Adult education, Appreciative inquiry, Evaluation, Learning community, Learning organization, Professional development, Return on investment
Publication Number: 3404704
ISBN: 978-1-124-01902-4
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