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The Impact of School-Wide Professional Development on Teachers' Practices: A Case Study

Morewood, Aimee L. (2008) The Impact of School-Wide Professional Development on Teachers' Practices: A Case Study. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The professional development opportunities and the impact these opportunities had on teachers' instruction were examined through a case study design. This school was selected because it was participating in a reform initiative and had improving student achievement scores. The research questions for this study included: (1) What was the nature of professional development in a Reading First School in which reading achievement improved and how were professional development activities made available to teachers? (2) What features of the professional development activity aligned with what was known about effective professional development and what were the similarities and differences in perceptions of teachers, coaches, and principal about the participation and characteristics of effective professional development? (3) What were teachers' perceptions about how their involvement in professional development activities changed or influenced their instructional practices? (4) In what ways has professional development impacted teachers' instruction?This study had ten participants; the principal, the full-time reading coach, the part-time reading coach, and seven teachers (i.e. grades 1-3 and special education were represented in this sample). A core reading program was implemented at this school. This study included a pre-observation interview, a classroom observation, and a post-observation interview.The findings for this study indicated that various professional development opportunities were available for teachers since the implementation of the Reading First grant. Also, although all participants in this study identified professional development opportunities that included characteristics of effective professional development, the literacy leaders' (i.e. the principal and full-time coach) perspectives of influential professional development were different from the practicing teachers' perspectives. Teachers' perceived professional development to influence their knowledge of content, pedagogy, and curriculum. And finally, the professional development opportunities that most often influenced teachers' classroom reading instruction were those that connected to the core reading program.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Morewood, Aimee
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairBean, Rita
Committee MemberKucan, Linda
Committee MemberZigmond, Naomi
Committee MemberColes, Nick
Committee MemberHamilton, Rebecca
Date: 29 January 2008
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 25 September 2007
Approval Date: 29 January 2008
Submission Date: 5 December 2007
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: professional development; student achievement; teacher learning; teacher perspectives
Other ID:, etd-12052007-144327
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:08
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:53


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