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Title: Influences of Professional Development on Teachers and Teacher Retention: Perceptions of Teachers and Professional Development Administrators
Authors: Castleberry, Emily
Advisors: Dr. Brad Mehlenbacher, Committee Chair
Dr. Conrad Glass, Committee Member
Dr. Karen DeBord, Committee Member
Dr. Pooneh Lari, Committee Member
Keywords: Professional Development
Teacher Attrition
Teacher Retention
Issue Date: 30-Apr-2010
Degree: EdD
Discipline: Adult and Community College Education
Abstract: ABSTRACT CASTLEBERRY, EMILY. Influences of Professional Development on Teachers and Teacher Retention: Perceptions of Teachers and Professional Development Administrators. (Under the direction of Dr. Brad Mehlenbacher.) The purpose of this case study is to examine the influence of professional development on K-12 teachers to determine how teachers and administrators who are engaged in the professional development process describe their experience with effective professional development in relation to the 12 North Carolina professional development standards, and to ascertain whether the teachers and administrators recognized a relationship between effective professional development and teacher retention. To meet the needs of both the teacher and the administrator, professional development pedagogy must be congruent with the pedagogy desired in the classroom. The study describes both online and face-to-face interviews of teachers who take professional development workshops and administrators who develop them. Teacher Working Conditions (TWC) Survey data from 2002 through 2009 are explored and used as background for the data collected as part of this case study. The TWC data reveal differences in the perceptions of the teachers participating in professional development programs and the administrators who direct those programs (TWC, 2009.) The researcher reviewed the professional development and teaching research, collected survey data from 366 teachers and 33 administrators, and conducted open-ended interviews of five self-selected teachers and five self-selected administrators. The goal of this work is to explore how teachers and administrators who engage in the professional development process perceive their experience with professional development in relationship to the 12 North Carolina professional development standards, and whether there is a relationship between professional development and the perception of teachers and professional development administrators regarding the recruitment and retention of teachers. The online survey was conducted between March 1, 2009 and March 31, 2009. The semi-structured open-ended interviews were conducted between April 1, 2009 and May 1, 2009. Over three-quarters of professional development administrators and over half of the teachers within the study affirmed teachers knew the 12 standards of professional development. However, in practice, a difference in perceptions regarding strengths and weaknesses of existing professional development practices were noted. Issues related to communication between professional development administrators and K-12 teachers are discussed. The demographic factor of age, and the contextual factors of years in service and number of job changes are explored. The breakdown of responses by teachers and administrators by these demographic and contextual factors suggest these factors have an impact on the perceptions of teachers and administrators.
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