In the U.S., there is increased awareness that what teachers know and are able to do play a significant role in the achievement of their students (Sanders & Rivers, 1996). Consequently, there is an unprecedented interest in improving instruction, a job that is normally assumed by the schools and school districts where teachers are employed. However, long-established professional development options provided by school districts usually fail to have any significant positive impact on teachers' instructional practices and often have the unintended consequence of making teachers feel more like workers on an assembly line than professionals doing emotionally complicated work (Borko & Putnam, Cohen & Hill, 1995; Darling-Hammond, 2009. Arete Charter School, a rapidly growing charter school franchise, does not currently have a clearly defined model of professional development that supports its unique instructional model. Results of the Standards Assessment Inventory 2 and higher than average teacher attrition due to both voluntary and involuntary leavers indicate that a change initiative is needed. With little time and limited resources available for professional development, it is of particular importance to develop an unambiguous model for teacher learning at Arete that leads to program choices with a high probability of increasing teacher capacity as well as improving student learning. The purpose of this dissertation in practice is to advance/promote a viable model for professional development at Arete Charter School that will "alter the professional practices, beliefs, and understanding of school persons toward an articulated end" (Griffin, 1983, p. 2). A model for professional development utilizing the Partnership Approach (Knight, 2007, 2011) and aligned to Learning Forward's Standards for Professional Development with the goal of humanizing the profession and offering a clearly articulated philosophy and set of actions is presented. Core elements of the model include the principal as a designer, instructional coaching, workshops that make an impact, intensive learning teams, and partnership communication that, when used together, results in humanizing professional learning that is both focused and leveraged to not only sustain school success but propel it forward. This model has implications for other schools struggling with teacher professional learning including how to maximize professional development to enhance teacher repertoires while simultaneously utilizing it to humanize the profession.
|01 January 2014
|University of Central Florida
|Electronic Theses and Dissertations
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