Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Investigating efforts to change educator attitudes and teaching strategies through professional development focused on the use of backward design curriculum and the principles of efficacy: Student behavior, feedback and assessments
by Grooms, Gwendolyn, Ed.D., Lindenwood University, 2010, 251; 3426993
Abstract (Summary)

School districts continually face problems associated with student achievement. The 2001–2002 federal mandate contained in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act held schools accountable for success of all students in reading and mathematics. Standardized tests were employed to measure the success. The purpose of this study was to investigate efforts to change educator attitudes and teaching strategies through professional development focused on the use of backward design curriculum and the principles of efficacy. Participants completed a pre and post Likert survey. Three 45-minute professional development sessions were conducted incorporating discussions on the principles of efficacy and backward design curriculum. Educators redesigned lessons for 9 weeks using the backward design format, linking assessments with instructional practices in classrooms. Best teaching practices were examined and success measured to identify when students truly understood what was being taught. The hypothesis predicted that understanding the principles and strategies of efficacy and backward design curriculum will result in a positive change in educator attitudes and instructional strategies as measured by Likert scale results. The research question was, How do efforts to change educator attitudes and teaching strategies through professional development focused on the use of backward design curriculum and the principles of efficacy affect educator beliefs and attitudes, as measured by open-ended questions? Literature review focused on (a) achievement gap, (b) narrowing the achievement gap, (c) educator attitudes, (d) lesson design, (e) student understanding, (f) understanding by doing, and (g) effective teaching strategies. Each of three collaborative researchers focused on one of three specific areas when compiling and analyzing data: (a) what educators should know and be able to do, (b) educator beliefs and attitudes, and (c) curriculum and instructional practices; all three areas are needed to narrow the achievement gap. Achievement gap is defined in this study as the discrepancy between the academic successes of student subgroups. Summation of quantitative and qualitative surveys did not definitively support the hypothesis of a change in the educator’s paradigm related to their attitudes and instructional strategies. An elevation in the educator’s level of awareness concerning principles of efficacy and understanding of backward design curriculum did occur.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Emrick, William
Commitee: Wisdom, Sherrie, Young, Savannah
School: Lindenwood University
Department: Education
School Location: United States -- Missouri
Source: DAI-A 71/12, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Educational tests & measurements, Teacher education
Keywords: Educator attitudes, No Child Left Behind Act, Professional development
Publication Number: 3426993
ISBN: 9781124295442
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