Voices of worth- listening to teachers: A phenomenological study of professional development and instructional change.

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The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe and explain teachers' perceptions about effective professional development as well as to identify the environmental factors that affect the teacher participants' ability to engage in and implement various behaviors and beliefs transferred from the professional development experience. Four teachers were studied in depth for one school year, and data collected included in-depth interviews and classroom observations. Findings indicate three main themes related to the research questions, which sought to understand how teachers perceive and describe their experiences of participating in professional development and the factors that support or constrain their instructional ... continued below

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Roberts, Jennifer A. May 2009.

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  • Roberts, Jennifer A.

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The purpose of this phenomenological study was to describe and explain teachers' perceptions about effective professional development as well as to identify the environmental factors that affect the teacher participants' ability to engage in and implement various behaviors and beliefs transferred from the professional development experience. Four teachers were studied in depth for one school year, and data collected included in-depth interviews and classroom observations. Findings indicate three main themes related to the research questions, which sought to understand how teachers perceive and describe their experiences of participating in professional development and the factors that support or constrain their instructional decision-making as it relates to new knowledge and skills acquired through professional development. These themes are that: (a) Effective professional development must have a supportive context and meaningful purpose which: meets the physical and cognitive needs of participants; focuses on improving practice, content knowledge, and pedagogy; provides participants with choice, adequate time and ownership of learning experiences; and includes opportunities for sustained learning and accountability; (b) Learning experiences are greatly affected by interpersonal relationships and opportunities for social learning and should be built upon the principles of: taking risks in the learning environment; sharing beliefs in a community of practice with effective support structures; involving all members, including the leaders, in the community of practice; and including opportunities for dialogue and the sharing of best practices as tools for learning, and (c) Implementation efforts are influenced by multiple sources, including: collegial and administrator support; curriculum and standardized testing; and time. Effective professional development must include attention to assisting teachers in dealing with these influences when they become barriers to implementation efforts.

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  • May 2009

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  • Sept. 23, 2009, 2:51 p.m.

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  • Dec. 4, 2013, 11:39 a.m.

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Roberts, Jennifer A. Voices of worth- listening to teachers: A phenomenological study of professional development and instructional change., dissertation, May 2009; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc9831/: accessed July 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .