Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Doctor of Education

Major

Adult & Higher Education

Date of Defense

7-28-2011

Graduate Advisor

John A. Henschke, Ed.D.

Committee

Kathleen Brown

Pi-Chi Han

Wolfgang Althof

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the experiences of teachers receiving professional development designed to enhance teacher’s understanding and instructional use of curriculum from principals in an elementary school setting. Further, this mixed methods study examined competencies of principals in creating the conditions for learning in professional development designed to enhance teachers understanding and instructional use of curriculum by answering the following questions: How do Elementary school principals understand and apply the principles of adult learning in professional development designed to enhance elementary teachers’ understanding and instructional use of curriculum? What is the experience of elementary teachers receiving professional development, designed to enhance teachers’ understanding and instructional use of curriculum, from principals in an elementary school setting? What is the experience of the elementary teachers’ change after receiving professional development, designed to enhance teachers’ understanding and instructional use of curriculum, from principals in an elementary school setting? The participants for this study consisted of two primary groups, (1) elementary public school teachers and (2) elementary public school principals. To satisfy the quantitative portion of this study, participants completed a demographic questionnaire and the Modified Instructional Perspectives Inventory (MIPI). Results were analyzed using descriptive statistics. To satisfy the qualitative portion of this study, a sub-sample inclusive of 8 teachers and 4 principals were identified to participate in one semi-structured interview per participant. In addition, principals completed one observation. Analysis of the quantitative data revealed that principals are perceived as average as it relates to their understanding and application of adult learning principles in professional development designed to enhance teachers’ understanding and use of curriculum. Further a line-by-line analysis of the qualitative data identified five primary themes as they relate to principals as facilitators of curriculum related professional development and adult learning principles. The themes include: (a) principal’s leadership qualities, (b) planning and implementing professional development, (c) climate, (d) instructional activities and strategies, and (e) accountability measures.

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