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Impact of Professional Development for Science Teachers on Efficacy and Autonomy

Satty, Robin (2019) Impact of Professional Development for Science Teachers on Efficacy and Autonomy. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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There has been significant media attention granted to teacher shortages in the past few decades, especially in the field of science teaching. These shortages have been linked to decreased student learning and performance. A significant cause of these shortages is high teacher turnover. The converse of turnover, retention, has been linked to professional development opportunities both directly and indirectly. Professional development may have the capacity to impact retention indirectly by supporting teachers’ beliefs of self-efficacy and collective efficacy, as well as their perceptions of professional autonomy, all factors that have been separately linked to teacher retention. This study investigates the professional development opportunities available to teachers in a suburban science department, and how those teachers believe the programs impact their efficacy and autonomy.
The study was conducted within the secondary science department in a large suburban school district. Four teachers and two administrators were interviewed in group and individual settings. Qualitative analysis of interview transcripts explored the relationship between professional development opportunities available to teachers within this department, and teachers’ beliefs of efficacy and perceptions of autonomy.
Findings indicated that teachers had access to professional development programs that improved their beliefs of efficacy and perceptions of autonomy. Data suggested ways in which the programs did so, as well as how these teachers and administrators felt the programs could support efficacy and autonomy more. The data also showed that teacher reflection and collaboration can support their beliefs of efficacy. The findings are consistent with the literature relating to these themes and provide additional insight into the impacts of the professional development opportunities available within the department studied.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Satty, RobinROS81@pitt.eduROS81
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairAnsell,
Committee MemberKokka,
Committee MemberQuigley,
Committee MemberLongo, R.
Date: 16 December 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 3 October 2019
Approval Date: 16 December 2019
Submission Date: 29 November 2019
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 116
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Self-efficacy Science teacher collective efficacy professional autonomy Professional development
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2019 14:50
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2019 14:50


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