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Factors Principals Consider When Choosing Professional Development for Teachers

Price, Kimberly (2017) Factors Principals Consider When Choosing Professional Development for Teachers. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Professional development is supposed to increase instructional capacity in teachers. It is well funded by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which also provides clear expectations for activities and programs that research suggests make it effective in improving student learning (Ball & Cohen, 1999; Banilower et al., 2006; Gersten et al., 2014; Guskey, 2000; Loveless, 2014; Yoon et al., 2007). These guidelines are not commonly in practice (National Center for Education Statistics, 2012; Wei et al., 2009).
Of all the actors in all the layers of the school system, principals are ideally situated to facilitate professional development that improves student learning (Hallinger & Heck, 1996; Holland, 2009; Honig & Venkateswaran, 2012; Leithwood & Louis, 2011; Sabina, 2014; Sullivan & Glanz, 2013). If principals know what research says about effective professional development for teachers, they may be better equipped to implement professional development designs that enhance student learning.
This study explored the factors principals in a county in southwestern Pennsylvania take into account when choosing professional development programs for teachers. Through a survey and series of interviews, principals described their consideration of the best practices suggested by empirical research, teacher agency, adult learning theory and the limiters they face when making decisions.
The study concluded that principals value engaging activities for teachers, but not the power of teacher agency in their own learning. By making decisions with teachers about the teachers’ growth, principals may help balance the tension between school and district goals and the goals of their teachers as professionals.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Price, Kimberlykjp40@pitt.edukjp400000-0002-1293-9061
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee MemberGunzenhauser, Michael G.gunzenhauser@pitt.edugu
Committee MemberMcClure, Maureenmmcclure@pitt.edummcclure
Committee MemberBickel, Williambickel@pitt.edubickel
Committee ChairTrovato, Charlenetrovato@pitt.edutrovato
Date: 30 May 2017
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 21 March 2017
Approval Date: 30 May 2017
Submission Date: 26 May 2017
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 171
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: teacher agency, mutual accountability, professional development, principal decisions
Date Deposited: 30 May 2017 16:11
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2019 18:33


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