|About the Book|
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the influence of the instructional strategies in a course on teachers attitudes toward initiating and sustaining change in their practice. Teachers beliefs and assumptions about educational change have been identified as a barrier and present a major obstacle to teacher professional development offerings seeking to bridge the research-to-practice gap in education. The population for this study was comprised of public school teachers enrolled in a professional development course in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. A purposeful sample of three individual cases was selected from this population. An attempt was made to manage change through the design of a course that served as the setting for the problem. The inherent complexity of designing effective teacher development offerings capable of meeting both cognitive and affective needs of teachers necessitated the development of a new process. The reflective conceptual model was created to improve the process of designing professional development offerings for teachers. Four sources of qualitative data were used for this study: interviews, direct observations, participant-observation, and physical artifacts. The tabular materials in this study contained quantitative data. The analysis of the results indicated that the instructional strategies in the professional development course were successful in influencing teachers attitudes toward initiating and sustaining change in their practice. The findings indicate that the design paths in the reflective conceptual model enabled the power of the instructional strategies selected for the course to increase exponentially and influence the participants attitudes toward change in their practice.