Alan Stoskopf, David R. Heimbecker
Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Department or Academic Unit
College of Professional Studies, Department of Education
education, case study, educational change theory, national staff development council standards for professional development, professional development, professional learning communities
Teaching, in the 21st century is a complex vocation that necessitates high quality professional development to fortify and sustain it. As a core profession, and a critical representative of change in contemporary society, it is apparent that leaving no child behind also entails leaving no teacher behind (Stoll & Seashore-Louis, Eds, 2007). Implementing a professional development model, which empowers staff, diminishes the opportunities for isolation and abandonment, while increasing the potential for optimal student learning.
This doctoral thesis employs a qualitative case study methodology to document the experiences of a purposefully selected group of elementary educators, working within a small special education collaborative setting. The application of case study methodology aligns with the following research questions: How can organizations change their professional development practices to become more learner-centered? How can changes in staff development promote a collaborative learning model? This methodology utilized the theoretical framework of educational change theory (Fullan, 2007) and a comprehensive literature review of Professional Learning Communities, reflective practice, collaboration and culture. Data sets included participant interviews and reflective memos, which were accumulated throughout the 2010-2011 school year, and collected by a special education organization that is located in Southeastern Massachusetts. This compendium of data, accentuate the numerous factors involved in Professional Learning Community design, implementation and assessment. As a critical component of the continuous improvement process initiated by the organization, this project emphasizes how changes made to the professional development model increased staff empowerment, reflection, collaboration and collegiality within a special education environment, during an academic year.
Stacey A. Kaminski
Kaminski, Stacey A., "Implementing a professional learning community: a case study" (2011). Education Doctoral Theses. Paper 11. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20002319
Click button above to open, or right-click to save.