Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Educational Studies

Sub-Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Rhonda Jeffries

Abstract

A challenge that professional development coordinators and instructional leaders face is designing and implementing professional development that is the most effective for improving teaching and learning in their school. To determine what is the perceptions and beliefs of elementary teachers' value of and responses to their professional development, this qualitative study explores how teachers learn and why they value and respond to their professional development. Using theoretical frameworks from various learning theory models and the evolution of professional and instructional development and design paradigm shifts throughout the history of educational research as the basis for conceptual understanding, this phenomenological, case study examines and explains the perceptions and beliefs of seven elementary teachers of grades two through six. This study also contains autobiographical narratives to emphasize the process of the learning experiences and reflective thinking of the researcher. The study was conducted at a Title I school in South Carolina, pseudo-named Sunshine School I, that was at the initial stages of incorporating comprehensive professional development activities to improve rigor, relationships and relevance within a professional learning community. In an effort to improve student achievement in math and writing, building level leaders decided to embed three professional development delivery modes for instructional improvement into the newly established collaborative community initiative at Sunshine School I Data.

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