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ERIC Number: ED508607
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Nov
Pages: 193
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 103
How Teachers Change: A Study of Professional Development in Adult Education. NCSALL Reports Number 25
Smith, Cristine; Hofer, Judy; Gillespie, Marilyn; Solomon, Marla; Rowe, Karen
National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL)
The National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL) Professional Development Study investigated how adult education teachers changed after participating in one of three different models of professional development (multisession workshop, mentor teacher group, or practitioner research group), all on the same topic of learner persistence. The study also investigated the most important individual, professional development, program, and system factors that influenced the type and amount of teacher change. This study was conducted primarily to help professional development decision-makers plan and deliver effective professional development, and to understand the factors that influence how teachers change as a result of professional development. The sample consisted of 106 women and men from three New England states (Maine, Massachusetts, and Connecticut). For the teachers in this study, change did not occur in a vacuum. How--and how much--a teacher changed was influenced by a complex interaction of factors: who teachers were coming into the professional development, the professional development itself, and the program and system in which teachers worked. While most teachers who participated in the professional development made some change, change was limited among teachers who felt less of a need to learn, who attended professional development that was not of high quality, and/or who worked in programs and situations where they were not supported to change. The authors propose several recommendations, based on the findings from their study, for policymakers in programs and states, for professional developers, and for teachers themselves to better support teachers so that they are able to make the most of professional development and contribute to the positive differences they seek in students' lives. Appendices include: (1) Professional Development Models and Objectives; (2) Defining Teacher Change; (3) Criteria for Rating Group Quality; and (4) Additional Information on Factors. (Contains 38 tables, 4 figures, and 73 footnotes.) [For the research brief, see ED508606.]
National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy (NCSALL). 44 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210. Tel: 617-482-9485; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: Teachers; Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED)
Authoring Institution: National Center for the Study of Adult Learning and Literacy
Identifiers - Location: Connecticut; Maine; Massachusetts