Teacher evaluation as a tool to support on-going teacher development and improvement within the context of IB PYP schoolsMulligan, Sandra January 2016 (has links)
Commonly, teacher evaluations function as summative appraisal mechanisms of teacher performance and effectiveness, as accountability measures and assurances of quality instruction to educational stakeholders. Recently, greater interest in the potential for evaluations to contribute to improvements in teaching and learning has emerged. The use of professional teaching standards and evaluation rubrics represents a significant advance in the design of evaluation tools and procedures. Continuing implementation challenges however, means the potential for evaluations to notably enhance teachers’ professional development is far from realized within many educational contexts. The traditional focus on the individual within evaluations also fails to recognize the collaborative work of teaching teams and to capitalize on the potential of teachers to support improvement in each other’s practice. This inquiry explored the circumstances under which evaluations might promote professional development at the individual level and within teaching teams. The study is located within an international school, which utilizes the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program curriculum. The research question driving the inquiry was; how can teachers and principals within IB PYP schools achieve a focus on professional development and systematic learning within teacher evaluation? An Instructional Rounds protocol was employed to promote a focus on professional development within this qualitative case study. Fullan’s Change Theory guided the implementation and analysis of change in the form and function of evaluations within the school. Findings suggest viable and valuable professional learning can be incorporated into and supported during evaluations. A structured process, incorporating greater frequency of feedback, check-ins, dialogue and collaborative work between supervisors and teachers is needed to produce the monitoring mechanism and sustained gentle pressure necessary to support on-going professional learning. Redefining and broadening concepts of improvement, of involved leadership and professional development is important. Limited focus on specific goals and connecting peers with similar goals encourages commitment to improvement efforts.
Digital role-play in a secondary English language arts classroom: exploring teacher and students' identities and practicesHaynes-Moore, Stacy 01 May 2016 (has links)
This dissertation study focused on complications and opportunities that surface for classroom learning in the intersections of a teacher’s methods, students’ literacies, and digital space. Though researchers have discussed adolescents’ literacies and participation in out-of-school digital spaces, there persists a need to explore and document the ways educators and students use classroom digital spaces. This study examined the teaching and learning experiences of one teacher and eight students as they collaborate, compose, and produce a literature-based digital role-play. Research questions focused on how the activity of a classroom digital role-play might connect with current literacy reforms, in what ways the teacher’s incorporation of the digital space might shape her classroom identity and pedagogy, and in what ways students’ digital participation might reflect, extend, and negotiate their school-ascribed identities as non-proficient learners. To address these questions, I collected data between March and June 2014 in a 10th grade English language arts classroom of a rural, Midwest public high school. This particular course was designed as an academic literacy support for students labeled as non-proficient school readers. I amassed my data collection from multiple interviews with teacher and student participants, series of classroom observations, student writings, surveys, classroom documents, teaching journals, classroom audio-recordings, and field notes. I analyzed these data using a combination of qualitative methods: ethnographic approaches, narrative inquiry, discourse analysis, and virtual methods. I first created a narrative portrait and analysis of the teacher and students to illuminate participants’ multiple social identities. I next used methods of discourse analysis to examine the teacher and students’ language use in the classroom and digital spaces, to extend my understanding of the way their speech and writing helps them to construct social identities. My findings complicate the way teachers might approach the use of digital spaces. Data reveal ways that the digital role-play space presents disruptions to the teacher’s ways of thinking about her classroom identity and practices. My findings also suggest that the use of a classroom digital space affords opportunities for students to explore their classroom social identities; the digital space flattens traditional school hierarchies in which the teacher leads and students learn. My study is potentially significant in that I explore the way the teacher and students experience and make meaning from the blend of their classroom interactions and digital literacy practices. Further, I argue that folding a digital space into daily classroom life reveals significant possibilities for classroom collaboration, distributed knowledge, and shared learning among students and teacher.
Effects of Sustained Teacher Professional Development on the Classroom Science Instruction of Elementary School TeachersHauck, Nancy 01 May 2012 (has links)
The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which sustained teacher professional development in science education affects the classroom instruction of elementary school teachers in third through sixth grade over a 3-year period. The teachers in the study were all elementary endorsed and prepared to be generalists in the content areas. Science reform has led to more content-specific science standards that are difficult for most elementary teachers to address without professional development. Recent studies on improving elementary science instruction suggest the need for professional development to be long term, embedded in teaching practice in the classroom, and rooted in research on how children learn science. The researcher examined changes in classroom instruction over a 3-year period of teachers who participated in a professional development program designed to meet the elementary science education reform based on recommendations from the National Research Council’s report, Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8. The data that were analyzed to determine the effects of the professional development came from classroom observations of two sets of teachers, one of which was the control set (n = 20). The other was the experimental set (n =22). Classroom observations were administered one time each year over 3 years of treatment to determine whether sustained professional development in science impacted teacher practices in the classroom. This study suggested that classroom science instruction did significantly change through sustained professional development intervention. It also suggested that teaching practices improved in the areas of talk and argument, investigation and inquiry, modeling and representations, alignment with science core concepts, and addressing science misconceptions. Furthermore, findings indicated that teachers who received sustained professional development were more likely to have higher overall effective science instruction scores.
A Causal-Comparative Model For The Examination Of An Online Teacher Professional Development Program For An Elementary Agricultural Literacy CurriculumRasmussen, Clay L 01 May 2008 (has links)
The purpose of this study was to determine the effectiveness of a teacher professional development program as measured by the extent that participants have continued to use lessons and materials up to three years after the professional development experience. The professional development program was delivered online and structured by five key characteristics of effective professional development. Sixty-five participants of Food, Land, and People (FLP) professional development completed an online survey answering certain demographic variables and indicating the number of lessons and activities they had used from the FLP professional development. An implementation and continued use measurement model was used to create weighted FLP use scores and compare participants within each group. Results suggest that the FLP professional development program was effective in obtaining long-term continued use of materials.
The responsiveness of an Australian science teacher professional development program to the needs of local and developing country science educators.Thair, Micheal J. January 1999 (has links)
Many developing countries do not have in place high quality science education postgraduate programs; consequently, teachers from these countries are enrolling in programs in developed countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. A number of authors have raised concerns that these programs are not responsive to the professional development needs of developing country teachers, suggesting that participants remain unaffected by their overseas experiences. There are similar concerns about teachers from developed countries also being unable to implement new ideas for teaching in their classrooms. This may be due to a number of reasons including feelings of powerlessness in overly prescriptive programs, high demands on teachers' time, a lack of resources, and a general lack of encouragement. These issues raise a number of questions about the nature of teacher professional development and in particular about appropriate ways to implement these programs.In response to these concerns, this thesis examines the responsiveness of a science education postgraduate program conducted in Australia to the needs of local and developing country participants and the influences of differences between Australian and developing country science teachers in terms of their professional, personal and social development. The assumption being that programs in developed countries are largely orientated towards the needs of home-country students. The conceptual framework for the thesis is a recent approach to science teacher professional development that provides a holistic perspective on science teacher professional development, focusing not only on individual teachers but also on the educational environment in which they operate. This perspective acknowledges the complexities of school environments and considers teachers' beliefs and feelings.The research focuses on ++ / participants from Australian and Indonesian who have completed a science education postgraduate program in Western Australia at the Science and Mathematics Education Centre (SMEC) located at Curtin University of Technology in Western Australia. These two groups were chosen because between 1988 and 1995 they were the predominant nationalities participating in SMEC programs. The research methodology and use of quantitative and qualitative research instruments was in keeping with the holistic conceptual framework adopted for the study and follows recent trends in teacher professional development research which have seen a broadening of research methodologies. The instruments used included a postal questionnaire, classroom observation schedule and structured interviews.The research findings indicated that the Indonesians have different needs to their Australian counterparts in terms of their professional, personal and social development. These differences included the Indonesians' strong beliefs in and use of didactic and formal teaching methodologies, limitations in Indonesian classrooms on the introduction of new teaching activities, a more centralised and formal education system in Indonesia in contrast to the increasing autonomy seen in Australia, and a more flexible teacher professional development approach in Australia focussing on personal development, as opposed to the curriculum and assessment focus seen in Indonesia. In addition, there are vast differences between the Indonesian and Australian education systems and these differences were seen to reinforce many of the different beliefs and practices between the Indonesian and Australian participants.The study suggests that the Australian participants are able to implement teaching approaches and theoretical frameworks included in their postgraduate studies at SMEC; however, the conclusions highlight the ++ / limitations of expecting that this can occur for developing country participants. In examining approaches in overcoming these limitations, it was concluded that a range of minor interventions or modifications to program design and content would be insufficient and a number of key indicators were identified that point to the responsiveness of programs for developing country participants. These indicators included the need for host institutions to be fully conversant with the classrooms and social contexts of developing country participants, constructivist pedagogical approaches to program design, planning and implementation, and the necessary flexibility to maintain academic rigour in postgraduate science education programs while incorporating unfamiliar education notions and frameworks from developing countries.
Professional development in HIV prevention education for teachers using flexible learning and tutor supportJackson, Glenda Joy January 2004 (has links)
HIV prevention programs in schools are acknowledged as one of the best prospects for controlling the world HIV epidemic. Epidemiological evidence indicates that deaths world-wide from AIDS are yet to peak. Although HIV notifications and AIDS deaths in the total Australian population have decreased', there has been an increase in rates in the Australian Indigenous population. There is also some evidence of complacency in HIV prevention vigilance in Australia which indicates a need for continued focus on prevention programs. The knowledge levels, attitudes toward HIV risk, and risk-taking behaviours of young Australians place them at risk of exposure to HIV. Appropriate prevention programs can be delivered to these vulnerable young people through the school setting. Programs delivered in schools have been shown to have a positive effect and teachers are vital to the delivery of these education programs. Without appropriate training, however, teachers may not optimise the outcomes of these programs. While it would be desirable for teachers to be trained in HIV prevention education in pre-service training this has not been the case in Western Australia (WA). When there is not an opportunity for pre-service training, professional development programs can be implemented to provide additional training required by teachers. Traditionally this professional development has been provided through workshops. These face-to-face delivery methods, however, do not always adequately serve the needs of all teachers, and in particular the needs of teachers in rural and remote areas. In an attempt to address the needs of these teachers, alternate methods of professional development delivery may be appropriate. The aim of this study was to test an alternate method of delivery. / The study designed, disseminated and evaluated the implementation of a flexible learning professional development program for teachers of HIV education. The program was based on print-based distance learning, supported by a video and tutors. Five objectives were developed for the study. These objectives were: Objective One - To determine factors associated with teachers' enrolment in the Protect Yourself Program (PYP). Objective Two - To determine the association between factors related to entry characteristics, social integration, external attribution, academic integration and incompatibility and amount of PYP completed. Objective Three - To determine the association between amount of PYP completed and factors related to the teaching of HIV lessons. Objective Four - To examine the context in which intervention and comparison group teachers were operating for this study. Objective Five - To evaluate the process of teacher recruitment to PYP, satisfaction with the flexible learning methodology, satisfaction with the PYP materials and completion of PYP. A comprehensive theoretical framework was constructed to guide the development of the empirical study and the professional development program, as little evidence was found in the literature of similar empirically evaluated studies. This framework incorporated: Adult Learning Theory; the Model of Student Progress; the PRECEDEPROCEED Model; the Health Promoting Schools Framework; Diffusion of Innovation and the Communication Behaviour Change Model. The study was conducted in two parts. Firstly, an exploratory study was conducted which provided a basis upon which to implement the second, larger empirical study. / A quasi-experimental study design was implemented due to restrictions placed upon the study by the WA Department of Health, the funding agency. The study sample was made up of teachers from government and independent, primary and second schools in WA. In total, 126 teachers were recruited to the intervention group and enrolled in the professional development program, and 128 to the comparison group, who completed some of the evaluation instruments, but did not participate in a professional development program. The professional development intervention program incorporated four comprehensive work modules, which were delivered in print form. A video and tutorial support supplemented the print materials. To evaluate the professional development program, seven instruments were developed. From these instruments five categories of variables were created, namely demographic, contextual, teacher characteristics, process and dependent. These variables were developed as single item variables, scales or indices. Quantitative data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences and a combination of univariate, bivariate, and multivariate techniques (logistic regression and analysis of covariance) were conducted. Qualitative data were analysed for themes. A binary logistic regression was conducted to evaluate Objective One: to determine factors associated with teachers’ enrolment in PYP. The analysis identified four factors which were associated with enrolment in PYP. / The teachers most likely to enrol in PYP had no pre-service training in health education and did not consider themselves to be a specialist or coordinator of health education. The majority of program participants had been teaching health education for between three and seven years and displayed a high level of acceptance of the flexible learning methodology. Objective Two: to determine the association between factors related to entry characteristics, social integration, external attribution, academic integration and incompatibility and amount of PYP completed was evaluated using a nominal logistic regression analysis with the intervention group sample only. Completion of the PYP program by participants was related to circumstances which were often beyond the control of the program, such as events occurring in a teacher’s personal life. However, teachers who showed a preference for flexible learning were found to be more successful in completing the program. The effects of PYP were measured by Objective Three: to determine the association between amount of PYP completed and factors related to the teaching of HIV lessons. Three of the six factors considered by this objective returned a significant association with program dose. Teacher perceived access to HIV education resources was found to be positively related to the dose of materials a participant completed. / Participants who completed a high dose of the program considered HIV resources to be relatively easier to access than participants completing a low dose. Teachers who completed a high dose of PYP reported being more comfortable to teach HIV lessons than teachers completing a mid dose. In addition, intervention group teachers showed a significant change in comfort with their ability to teach HIV lessons and specified HIV topics to Years 8, 9, and 10 classes and intervention group teachers of Year 8 students thought the HIV topics were less important for this level of students. The final variable to show a significant change over time when dose of the program was considered was teacher sexual conservativeness. Both high and mid dose participants reported being less sexually conservative than low or no dose participants from pre to midtest. The context of the teachers participating in the PYP study was investigated through Objective Four: to examine the context in which intervention and Comparison group teachers were operating for this study. Two factors were found to be associated with gender, six with school location and eleven with level of teaching. These associations provided important contextual information for interpreting the findings of the study. Objective Five evaluated the process of teacher recruitment to PYP, satisfaction with the flexible learning methodology, satisfaction with the PYP materials and completion of PYP. The recruitment strategies implemented for PYP were effective in having teachers from government and independent schools in WA recruited to PYP. / However, more than 90% of the intervention group were from government schools. Schools encouraged more than one teacher from a school to enrol, with nine primary schools, four district high schools, one community high school, one secondary college, four senior high schools and one combined independent primary and high school enrolling more than one teacher in the program. The flexible learning methodology was reported to be suitable for the needs of teachers who enrolled in PYP, as they felt comfortable with the learning methodology and appreciated the opportunity to choose when and where they completed the program. The opportunity for face-to-face contact, however, was still preferred by some teachers. The materials within the program were considered to be appropriate and useful. The writing style and activities were well received and the efforts of the tutors were welcomed by the majority of the intervention group. One third of teachers who enrolled in PYP completed at least some of the materials, but less than 10% completed the entire program. The most frequent suggestions made for increasing program completion rates were to set dates for completion of the program modules and to allow time release to complete the program. At baseline, this research showed that teachers considered it important for their students to have access to HIV education, but many of these teachers did not feel comfortable providing HIV education for their students. / As positive effects were observed in the PYP program of impact of program dose on factors affecting the implementation of HIV education, it would appear that flexible learning professional development was a suitable alternative to face-to-face professional development. Teachers' acceptance of flexible learning professional development as an alternate methodology, however, appears to be in its infancy and will require more empirical research. Future research, study design improvements and intervention design improvements can be informed by the following recommendations. Future research Recommendation 1: There be more rigorous investigation of flexible learning as a methodology for provision of professional development for teachers of health education. Recommendation 2: The status of claiming credit for professional development toward postgraduate qualifications for teachers continue to be investigated. Recommendation 3 : Further research be undertaken to evaluate available technologies and their acceptance by teachers as a delivery method for flexible learning professional development. Study design improvements Recommendation 4: design limitations of the PYP study. Future research be designed to overcome the study Intervention design improvements Recommendation 5: The findings of the PYP study and suggestions made by PYP participants be used to improve future health education professional development programs.
Teacher Education Students: Their Experience of Mathematics Anxiety, Self-Efficacy, and Teacher Professional DevelopmentOlson, Amy Michelle January 2014 (has links)
This dissertation adds to the teacher education literature by exploring the experiences education students have of mathematics anxiety and self-efficacy for teaching and learning mathematics. Further, the utility of a specific in-service teacher professional development project, focused on improving rational number instruction, in pre-service education is evaluated, and the potential impact of professional development experiences on the anxieties and efficacy beliefs of students before they enter the teaching profession is explored. This study provides evidence of the predictive capacities of teacher efficacy models that incorporate student experiences and feelings of anxiety to better understand task choice. For example, findings indicate that self-efficacy for teaching mediates the relationship between mathematics teaching anxiety, experience, and mathematics subject area preference for teacher education students. Further, there are indications of the potential for teacher education coursework and in-service teacher professional development to decrease students' experience of mathematics teaching anxiety. Finally, evidence is provided that teacher professional development is not only perceived as useful to teacher educations students, but has potential as an intervention for teacher efficacy and anxiety for teaching. Given these findings, it makes sense to further evaluate the ways in which the strengths of pre-service coursework and in-service professional development can be leveraged to best prepare future teachers for their professional roles. Further research is also needed to longitudinally track experiences of anxiety and self-efficacy as students leave teacher education and enter the classroom as professionals.
Spitler, Ellen J.
Adolescent literacy is currently viewed as in crisis. Moore (2002) argues that a focus on adolescent literate identity seems to be a key consideration when designing literacy instruction for secondary classrooms. This dissertation argues that in order for adolescents to develop a literate identity, their teachers should possess a literate identity.This phenomenological case study investigates the transformational paths nine developing teachers traversed as they "authored" their teacher literacy identity through a university content area literacy course, student teaching, and/or the induction period. "Authoring" includes both how the teachers represent their literacy identities in their writing and speaking, and how teachers do their literacy identities when enacting or performing (Moje, 2004) literacy instruction.Six instructional engagements completed by participants when they were students in a university content area literacy course comprise one data set. During student teaching and/or during their first or second year of teaching, three types of data were gathered: the Seidman (1998) three-interview series; a content area literacy lesson planning session; and an observation of each planned lesson. A phenomenological analysis (Merriam, 1998) guided the initial examination of the data. The data sets were analyzed using the constant comparative method (Bogdan & Biklen, 2007; Merriam, 1998).Teacher literacy identity is a previously unexplored construct. Based on a literature review and the voices of the participants, the following definition took shape: teacher literacy identity is a confident view of self as responsible for and in control of improving the literacy learning of self and the competency to enact engagements to guide the literacy learning of students. Teacher literacy identity consists of three transactional dimensions: the construct of literacy, the construct of literacy in practice, and the quality of the literacy enactment. Six major categories emerged to illustrate the phenomenon: identity, learning communities, personal agency, design of practice, literacy theories, and sources of dissonance.Implications of this exploration suggest that the investigation and documentation of developing teachers' literacy learning trajectories are worthy areas of further study. Moreover, a critical re-evaluation of teacher education and professional development in the support of teacher literacy identity deserves close attention.
23 June 2009
This thesis presents a multiple-method investigation of teachers’ responses to the adoption and implementation of a compulsory laptop program (CLP). It reports on the beliefs, opinions, and behaviours of teachers responsible for translating a CLP into classroom-based reality. The study is based on data collected from 18 interviews, 2 focus groups, and classroom observations of 5 teachers obtained from teachers and administrators at one Canadian independent school, as well as an online survey data from educators at nine independent schools across Canada. The purpose of the research was to investigate the impact of adopting and implementing a planned change initiative by examining teachers’ responses to a school-wide mandated curriculum initiative by focusing on their perceptions of (a) requisite participation, (b) essential components, and (c) changing roles when implementing a CLP. The findings of the study include four supports for teachers trying to implement a CLP into teaching practices. First, clearly communicate and revise shared, benchmark-driven policies on an ongoing basis to assist in unifying an understanding of the program. Second, address teachers’ self-imposed pressures within a CLP by ensuring individual teachers’ intrinsic motivation and affective needs are respected and addressed. Third, provide teachers with job-embedded learning opportunities to work individually and in small groups, and with access to knowledgeable resources in order to connect technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge, to meet just-in-time needs. Fourth, adopt an implementation model that is fluid and addresses elements affecting a teacher to provide a more inclusive and realistic method for explaining and supporting what may occur when teachers engage in implementing a CLP. / Thesis (Ph.D, Education) -- Queen's University, 2009-06-22 16:55:43.987
Scaffolding teacher learning: Examining teacher practice and the professional development process of teachers with culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) learners.Price, Gaylene January 2008 (has links)
Teachers work in complex and demanding times with an increasing number of students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (CLD) in classrooms. These students are over represented in statistics of under achievement. All teachers are teachers of academic language, and while no child is born with school language as a first language, for some students the match between home and school is more closely aligned than for other students. Teachers are expected to be culturally responsive, ensuring the languages and culture of students is visible in the classroom environment and the classroom curriculum. Despite the increasing knowledge about the specific strategies and approaches that will most effectively support CLD students in classrooms, the teaching of CLD students within mainstream contexts remains far from ideal. Teachers need support to access the principles of effective teaching of CLD learners that are available, and importantly to transfer the knowledge into classroom practice. Professional development and learning is linked to improved teacher practice and student learning outcomes. When teachers have opportunities to be engaged in successful elements of in-depth professional learning such as in-class modelling, observation and feedback, and co-construction of teaching and planning they are able to demonstrate improved pedagogical content knowledge. Their beliefs may also need to be challenged. The study was conducted in two schools in a large city in New Zealand where I am employed as an ESOL and literacy adviser. Using an action research method I was able to examine how a professional development and learning process shaped my own knowledge and practice as well as teacher knowledge and practice. The study fills a research space to gain insights into the effective professional learning processes that impact on teacher strategies and approaches with their CLD learners A central tenet of this research is that teachers can improve their practice of teaching CLD students and they can specifically learn strategies and approaches that are considered effective for them.
Page generated in 0.172 seconds