Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
No method exists for evaluating the effectiveness of professional development (PD) for teachers in Boston Public Schools. Often PD does not contribute to teacher quality, which can hinder student outcomes. The purpose of this study was to explore teachers' perceptions of the effectiveness of PD among K-8 teachers and to examine the alignment of PD in the schools with the 4 prerequisites of professional learning outlined by Learning Forward. These 4 prerequisites served as the conceptual framework. Of the research questions, 4 reflected the topics of the 4 prerequisites: commitment to students, readiness to learn, collaboration, and learning styles. The fifth research question was based on PD in general. In this case study, data from interviews from nine teachers were analyzed typologically. Key teacher perceptions included a commitment to students, overall lack of relevance and usefulness of PD and therefore lack of readiness to learn, failed efforts to promote collaboration, and lack of attention to teachers' learning styles. Strained partnerships with colleagues and lack of time hampered the effectiveness of the PD. Based on these outcomes, a professional learning opportunity for administrators was created to teach them how to develop effective professional learning for teachers based on the 4 prerequisites. This professional learning opportunity can be implemented at the local level to promote the design of more effective professional learning in Boston Public Schools. By improving the effectiveness of professional learning and subsequently teacher quality, social change in the form of improved student outcomes can be initiated.