Perceived Professional Development Needs of Business Education Teachers in West Virginia
This study identified the perceived professional development needs of secondary business educators in West Virginia related to professional and business education content competency areas. A population of 408 secondary business educators was randomly assigned to two groups to evaluate their perceived professional development needs. A total of 104 (51.40% of 202) respondents reported their perceived need for professional development for professional competencies based on Policy 5310: Performance Evaluation of School Personnel of the West Virginia Department of Education. Also, a total of 89 (43.0% of 206) respondents indicated their perceived need for professional development for business education content competencies based on the NBEA's National Standards for Business Education.
Data analyzed using frequency analyses revealed that the highest rated perceived professional development needs related to professional competencies were found in the areas of Programs of Study, Classroom Climate, and Instructional Management Systems. It was further determined that the highest rated perceived professional development needs related to business education content competencies were found in the areas of Information Systems, Career Development, and International Business.
The one-way ANOVA analyses did not find differences among teachers' perceived professional development needs based on years of teaching experience or educational level for professional competencies or for business education content with the exception of the competency areas of Accounting and Business Law. In both of these areas, the post-hoc statistical analysis revealed differences among the educational levels of teachers, with respondents who had an Ed.S degree reporting a higher level of need than those with bachelor's or master's degrees. Overall, teachers perceived a higher need for professional development activities in the business education content areas than in the professional competencies.
Findings of the study indicate that professional development activities should be relevant to teachers' needs. This study found specifically that business education teachers were most interested in technology-driven subject matter, technology integration into classroom learning, and general economic awareness and career awareness of international and technological occupations. In addition, all areas of methodology, professional competencies and content area competencies, should integrated into professional development activities to prepare teachers to effectively disseminate the content to ensure student learning.