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       Professional development is a very important part of teacher education and growth.

There are many different options available when planning a session of professional development.

It is necessary to study and do research to find new and improved methods of delivering

professional development. Many different methods of research and analysis are available and

utilized. The collection of data must be evaluated and compared so that conclusions can be made.

                                            Literature Review

       More often than not, professional development is planned, executed, and evaluated by

administration. In a recent study, 20 principals were selected to participate in a series of surveys

and interviews. The survey’s were used and guidelines for the interviews (Vandenberghe,

Kelchtermans, Maes, 2000). This study allowed for principals to give reasoning and criteria used

for the selection of professional development programs. Notable finding include the desire for

“practical language” and principal involvement for greater productivity (Vandenberghe,

Kelchtermans, Maes, 2000).

       In another case study regarding administrative control, professional development was

studied in one district over a period of four years (Sandholts & Scribner, 2006). Documents

relevant to professional development were collect, interviews were conducted and meetings,

workshops, and other sessions were observed as well (Sandholts & Scribner, 2006). Evaluation

of the research found that teachers felt undervalued when it came to their input. The same study

also found that administration, including district administrators acted in a way that allowed for

the appearance of more teacher control when in fact the administrators maintained authority.

Similar to the findings reported by Vandenberghe, Kelchtermans, and Maes, these teachers also
felt that a lack of resources and lack of continuity delivered in the professional development

workshops hindered their progress.

        A Technology Academy was put into place to service 25 volunteer teachers with

technology and classroom integration (Brinkerhoff, 2204). Participants spent extended periods

of time in group workshops learning new skills and methods for applying technology in the

classroom. The Technology Academy was run over a two year period. Participants were given

instruction along with special materials to execute goals and objectives. The participant’s

experience was evaluated through simple observations, audio-taped interviews, and self-

evaluating surveys. Participants reported mild levels of improvement in their skills as well as

being more confident with technology (Brinkerhoff, 2004). The problem with the academy was

that participants were unable or unwilling to apply their new skills in their daily classroom


        In an additional study, 185 literacy teacher were took part in a three-part questionnaire

(Teberg, 1999). Teacher was asked to report on their opinion of effective professional

development. After the questionnaires were collect, additional group interviews were conducted.

The group interviews were conducted to allow the teacher to clarify and expand upon their

questionnaire responses (Teberg, 1999). According to the data analysis, the two strongest desires

for effective professional development were time and money. Teachers felt that they would

benefit from additional time with colleagues for collaboration. However, they also felt that this

would require additional funding to support that time.

        In one study, Six Australian schools were evaluated on their technology integration

programs. Schools were recognized by their size, location, and faculty turnover rate. Again, data
was collected in three methods: questionnaires and interviews of the staff, including teacher and

technology coordinators, and analysis of school provided documents (Treagust & Rennie, 1991).

A common theme proved to be that time and money was considered to be a factor when

evaluating the effectiveness of the program.

       A study was conducted in rural school district of Pennsylvania. 400 professional staff

member s were surveyed to determine their level computer utilization both within the

educational process and at home (Wright & Lesisko, 2008). These teachers were subject to

questionnaires that were collected during regular faculty meetings. The research found a

considerable difference between the reporting’s of elementary and secondary teachers. The

teachers in the middle and secondary schools had an overall higher knowledge of technology and

were more likely to use it in their daily lessons (Wright & Lesisko, 2008).

       A group of seven schools were selected based upon their urban location and below

average test scores. Again the data was collect through obtaining district documents, observing

professional development workshops and meetings, and interviews district staff that had a

connection to the professional development responsibilities (Youngs & King, 2000). During this

study, it was once again noted that teachers felt they had insignificant input in regards to the

progress of the professional development.

       Another study of the role of professional development in technology was conducted and

two schools were chosen based on the fact that their teachers were part of the program The

Centers for Quality Teaching and Learning (QTL™) (Matzen & Edmunds, 2007). Data was

collected through interviews and observations of participating teachers. Each participant was also

asked to write in a journal and answer specific questions. Participants were also three identical
surveys throughout the year-long process. One case study was also preformed on one individual

teacher. The evaluation of this research showed that teachers that were involved in dual

professional development programs, for example QTL™ and district professional development

were more open and willing to change lessons and become more technology centered.

       In a study addressing the lack of attention to teacher perspectives on change and the

professional development process 41 participants were selected based on their participation in

the Total Literacy Connection (TLC) (Nielsen, Barry, Staab, 2007). Data was collected was

collected using focus group interviews. Each of the six group interviews lasted approximately 90

minutes and was held over a period of two months. Teachers reported that they were able to

respond to change both as learners and agents of change (Nielsen, Barry, Staab, 2007).

       In a study that measured how colleagues affect each other in terms of professional

development accepted 14 participants, all of which were high school teacher in the same district

(Park, Oliver, Johnson, Graham, Oppong, 2006) The method of this study was based on

interviews. The participating teachers were also involved in practicing the interview process on

one another to avoid possible mistakes. Once again support was a major issue identified by the

participants. According to this particular study, colleagues supporting each other towards a

common goal gave much needed support.

       Four teachers volunteered to participate in an extensive study using the INSITE training

model (Askvig, Coonts, Haarstad, 1999). Two teachers completed the study through telephone

interviews and videotaped sessions with students. Because only two of the participants

completed the study the data collected cannot be representative of the original group.
       In a final study, 16 schools from the north coast of Australia were selected to participate

in research that took place over the span of two years. Teachers were surveyed prior to the

beginning of the research. Overall teachers reported a low level of confidence for independent

learning (Phelps & Graham, 2008). The results of the study were compiled by the individual

schools (Phelps & Graham, 2008).

       After reviewing each study it was apparent that limited participation was often a concern

of the researchers. Several studies also showed that participants, mainly teachers, felt a lack of

support from administration while trying to progress with professional development. Many

teachers also felt they had a lack of input when deciding on professional development. However,

many participants also reported an increase in confidence and ability after completion of the

training. Common themes among each study include method of data collection and reporting.

Surveys, individual, and group interviews were used repeatedly.

Askvig, B., Haarstad, C., & Coonts, T. (1999). Teacher performance follow-up from large
group training: a pilot study. Department of Education, Washington, DC.; North Dakota Center
for Persons with Disabilities, Minot.; North Dakota State Dept. of Public Instruction, Bismarck.

Brinkerhoff, J. (2006). Effects of a Long-Duration, Professional Development Academy on
Technology Skills, Computer Self-Efficacy, and Technology Integration Beliefs and Practices.
Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 39 (1), 22-43.

Nielsen, D.C., Barry, A.L., & Staab, P. T. (2008). Teachers’ reflections of professional change
during a literacy-reform initiative. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24 (5), 1288-1303.

Phelps, R., & Graham, A. (2008, Summer ). Developing technology together, together: A whole-
       school metacognitive approach to ICT teacher professional development. Journal of
       Computing in Teacher Education, 24(4), 125-134.

Rennie, L. J., & Treagust, D. F. (1993, April). Factors Affecting the Successful Implementation
       of Whole-School Curriculum Innovations. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the
       American Educational Research Association, Atlanta, GA.

Rodriguez G., Knuth R. (2000), Providing professional development for effective technology
      use. North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium.

Sandholtz, J. H. & Scribner, S. P. (2006). The paradox of administrative control in fostering
      teacher professional development. Teaching and Teacher Education, 22, 1104-1117.

Soonhye, P., Oliver, S. J., Johnson, T. S., Graham, P., & Oppong, N. K. (2007). Colleagues' roles
      in the professional development of teachers: Results from a research study of national
      board certification. Teaching and Teacher Education, 23, 368-389.

Teberg, A. (1999). Identified Professional Development Needs of Teachers in Curriculum
       Reform. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research
       Association, Montreal, Quebec.

Vandenberghe, R., Kelchtermans, G., & Maes, F. (2000, April 24-28). Valuable In-Service
      Training: Evaluation by Principals. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the
      American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.

Wright, R. J., Lesisko, L. J. (2008, March 24-28). Technology infusion in a rural school system:
       A case study from Pennsylvania. Online Submission; Paper presented at the Annual
       Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York, NY.

Youngs, P., & Kings, B. M. (2000). Professional Development That Addresses Professional
      Community in Urban Elementary Schools. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the
      American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, LA.

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