Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Suzy Hardie


This research project sought to understand how the complexities and challenges of offering high-quality professional development district-wide impacted teachers’ ability to implement their new learning. The literature posits that to be considered effective, professional development must include six distinct design elements: (1) Data driven, (2) Incorporates active learning utilizing adult learning theory, (3) Supports collaboration, (4) Context-Specific, (5) Feedback-centered, and (6) Supported by principal leadership (Darling Hammond et al., 2017, p. 4). While each of these design elements seems appropriate and rooted in best practices, when planning professional development, the scheduling and unique circumstances of secondary schools makes incorporating these elements challenging, leading to frustrations and inconsistencies.

Thus, this Improvement science Dissertation in Practice sought to create a Teacher Observation Tool that will serve as Professional Development when implemented and used effectively. The tool was created using a Strategize- Implement-Analyze- and Reflect cycle. The research questions of this study focused on (1): What makes a teacher observation tool an effective professional development opportunity for teachers? (2): What components are necessary in a framework to ensure the tool successfully meets the criteria necessary to be considered effective professional development?

This study will provide building leaders with recommendations, guidance, research, and best practices for implementing teacher observations for use as professional development at the secondary level that equips and empowers teachers to change their current classroom practices.


© 2023, Ashton Carrie Padgett