Teacher Perception of Professional Development and Impact on Instructional Practice and Student Achievement

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Virginia Tech

Professional development (PD) is an instrument that provides educators with knowledge, strategies, and skills to meet the needs of today's student learners. To ensure professional learning experiences serve their intended purpose, an investigation into teacher perception of PD and its impact on student achievement was conducted. This dissertation examined teacher perceptions and their impact on PD topics and delivery methods and its impact on changes in instructional practices and student achievement. Sampled were 207 classroom teachers from one rural, suburban, and urban Virginia high school. The findings relative to the sample size suggest that overall PD is impactful on instructional practice and student achievement and that technology integration followed by student learning styles is most impactful. Targeted traditional and reform professional learning activities may offer a means of impacting instruction and student achievement. Findings also suggest that if policymakers and school leaders want to impact instruction and student achievement, they must be strategic in delivering PD hours towards initiatives that will yield the most significant results for instruction and student achievement. To enhance teaching and learning through PD, educational leaders must continue to see the significance in PD as well as provide sustained, on-going, job-embedded PD experiences. This study provides educational leaders with a teacher perspective on the impact of PD on instructional practice and student achievement. These findings imply that PD could be a means of transforming teaching and learning. Few studies have examined teacher perception of PD, its correlation to changes in instructional practices, and its potential impact on student achievement.

Career development