Job -embedded professional development: A study of perceptions and behavioral changes of participants in a New England high school

Mario J Andrade, Johnson & Wales University

Abstract

Every modern proposal to reform, restructure, or transform schools emphasizes professional development as a primary vehicle in efforts to bring about needed change (Guskey, 1995). Professional development is the vehicle through which teachers acquire new skills and the capacity to implement new practices that will lead to school improvement and increase student achievement. Furthermore, Galloway (2002) states job-embedded professional development can achieve these goals by integrating the activities into the workday. ^ The High School that is the focus of the study is located in Southern New England. The New England Accreditation of School and Colleges (NEASC) has twice placed this High School on probation during the past 15 years. In a letter dated October, 2003, a High School sub-committee recommended that time be created during the school day for teachers to engage in professional development activities such as common planning, sharing best practice, reviewing and revising curriculum, and sharing and discussing student work. In 2004, through their Comprehensive School Reform Grant, this High School established a job-embedded Teach Professional Development Center that provided time during the school day for teachers to collaborate. ^ A major problem with professional development programs is that teacher participants often indicate these programs are inadequate in serving their needs, and there is little effect on student achievement (Guskey, 1997, Little, 1994, Sparks, 2002). This in depth multiple case study researched the instances of job-embedded professional development in its natural context and from the perspective of the participants involved in the phenomenon. The case study examined the following research questions: (1) which professional development activities contribute to the teachers' perception of effective professional development? (1a) how do teachers who participated in the job-embedded professional development define "effective professional development"? (2) what are the effects, as attributed by teachers in the job-embedded professional development program on: (2a) knowledge, skills, and instructional practice? (2b) attitudes and beliefs about new initiatives and reforms? Data was collected through one-on-one interviews, participant-observation, and documentation. The researcher gathered evidence from a total sample size of N=20 participants from the four cohorts. The recommendations from the findings of this research serve as a guide for future implementation of job-embedded professional development. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Teacher Training|Education, Secondary

Recommended Citation

Mario J Andrade, "Job -embedded professional development: A study of perceptions and behavioral changes of participants in a New England high school" (January 1, 2006). Dissertation & Theses Collection. Paper AAI3234954.
http://scholarsarchive.jwu.edu/dissertations/AAI3234954

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