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Title:Understanding teacher career stages and the role of leadership in professional development
Author(s):Jackson, Gabriella Stetz
Director of Research:Herrmann, Mary
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Herrmann, Mary
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Kuchinke, Peter; Roegman, Rachel; Alexander, Kern
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Ed Organization and Leadership
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Professional development
Abstract:The goal of professional development is to continually increase the knowledge and skills necessary for teachers to help their students succeed in their classrooms. Just as our students learn and grow throughout the course of their educational careers, teachers and administrators should also be expected to change, expand their professional skills, and develop their craft over time. This case study focused on one district and examined the role of leadership in providing professional development opportunities and how those opportunities were perceived by teachers. Using the adult learning frameworks of andragogy and transformative learning provided a focus on adult learning and the needs of adult learners. This case study involved interviews with district leaders, school leaders, and instructional coaches. Teachers at all three district schools were invited to complete a survey on their experiences with and perceptions of professional development. Findings from interview and survey data showed that a clear vision, organizational structure, and focus on adult learning can provide teachers with opportunities that meet their ever-changing needs. District leaders were purposeful in their design of adult learning and school leaders also worked to further that vision. In turn, teachers felt support for participating in various professional development opportunities. The contractual requirement for an annual coaching plan also provided opportunities for teachers to set their own learning goals and choose from a variety of options for professional development. One implication is that it takes a vision for professional development and a system of support at the district and building level to offer teachers choice and differentiated opportunities for learning. Further research on effective ways to differentiate professional development for teachers as well as research on districts where teachers perceive their instructional practices to be benefiting from individualized and differentiated professional development can help leaders as they design adult learning opportunities for teachers.
Issue Date:2021-04-12
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Gabriella Jackson
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-09-17
Date Deposited:2021-05

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