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Title:Needs assessment in continuing professional education: An interpretive study
Author(s):Hudson, Bonnie Bowen
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Farmer, James A.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Administration
Education, Adult and Continuing
Abstract:The purpose of this case study was to investigate the processes used by the Illinois Administrators' Academy to identify the professional development needs of one of its client groups, public school superintendents.
A qualitative method was used to investigate, describe, and understand the needs assessment processes at the 18 Academy sites. Participants included Academy directors and coordinators, Illinois State Board of Education officials involved either in the initial stages or in current operations of the Academy, and five district superintendents. Twenty-nine interviews were tape recorded, transcribed, and analyzed.
The findings suggested that most Academy sites used multiple formal and informal approaches to identify the superintendents' professional development needs. The identified needs are identified as either felt (learner-identified) or prescribed (other-identified) needs, extending Brookfield's (1988) definitions of the terms. A matrix is offered which suggests the felt or prescribed nature of the source of the needs identification, and illustrates the formal and informal approaches used to identify such needs.
Additional findings suggested that the language was primarily quantitative when Academy personnel discussed needs identification and that several assumptions underlie the processes, including assumptions concerning what a professional development need involves, assumptions concerning who identifies needs, and assumptions concerning the use of the needs assessment findings. Other factors which seemed to influence the process of identifying the needs of this client group included factors such as the political and professional context of the Academy, participation by superintendents in Academy programs, the relationship of the Administrators' Academy with the Educational Service Centers which implement the programming of the Academy, and the priority of needs assessment.
Conclusions drawn from these findings relate to the effect of both the language and the assumptions on the effective identification of needs, the effect of the Academy nesting within another educational service agency, and the awareness of their needs identification processes by these continuing professional educators.
Issue Date:1993
Rights Information:Copyright 1993 Hudson, Bonnie Bowen
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9329064
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9329064

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