There is a consensus in the literature that certain components should be present in professional development if change to instructional practices is to occur. These components include active participation, collective participation, duration, a content focus, and coherence. Despite this consensus, little research has examined these individual components from the participants' perspectives. Thus, the present study sought to contribute to the research base in this area.
This qualitative case study explored five elementary school teachers' perceptions of the professional development that they experienced during the first year of a three-year professional development effort. Teachers participated in semi-structured interviews, lesson observations, and post-observation conferences designed to better understand their professional development experience and their attempts to implement their learning.
Data from this study confirmed that, if teachers are to change their instructional practices, the five components do, indeed, need to be present. The findings, however, suggest that the initial phase of professional development should have a content focus, provide active participation opportunities, and be of significant duration. To ensure that teachers are able to overcome barriers that they will encounter as they try to implement their learning, the second phase of professional development should emphasize collective participation opportunities that will allow participants to bring coherence to their learning. The results indicated that this two-step delivery model will provide teachers with the knowledge and support needed to change their instructional practices.
|School:||California State University, Fullerton|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/08, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mathematics education, Elementary education, Teacher education|
|Keywords:||Change instructional practices, Professional development, Teacher change|
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