ERIC Number: ED426465
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Apr-16
University-District Professional Development Program: A Systematic Study of Practice.
Crow, Nedra A.; Adams, E. Ann; Bachman, Michelle; Petersen, Sandy; Vickrey, Susan; Barnhardt, Paul
The Professional Development Schools Model (PDSM) allows universities and schools to work together at developing, implementing, and delivering meaningful professional development experiences for practicing educators. One such program is the Utah-Local Educators' Action Research Network (U-LEARN). U-LEARN is a 1-year, 8-credit-hour graduate course that focuses on action research and is taught on-site in schools. The program and course were developed by a team composed of three university-district liaisons and a university professor. A study sought to understand the influence of the U-LEARN class on teachers and classroom practice. The study, which lasted 2 years, used an action-research inquiry to describe the salient features and influences of a formal professional development program designed to develop a community of teacher/learners across three school districts. The study utilized questionnaires and focus groups and included kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers, as well as school administrators. The results show that many teachers who participated in the U-LEARN program reported thinking in new ways about their actions as classroom teachers and their roles as professionals. Teachers noted that the action-research process gave them a structured format for analyzing their teaching practices. Teacher participation influenced teachers' sense of validation, empowerment, confidence, and the perceived value of communication and collaboration. The U-LEARN Focus Groups Questionnaire is appended. (Contains 24 references and 4 tables.) (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Diego, CA, April 13-17, 1998).