Date of Conferral







Barbara Calabro


Within the literature, a gap exists in understanding how teacher perceptions may be used to develop, implement, and evaluate professional development. The purpose of the qualitative case study was to describe the perceptions of middle and high school teachers regarding their professional development experiences in a rural school district in Florida. Guided by Chen and Chang's whole teacher framework and Knowles's theory of adult learning, the research questions addressed teachers' needs, expectations, and perceptions of professional development. Triangulated data sources included face-to-face interviews with 10 teachers, participant journals, and professional development agendas. Data analysis included line-by-line coding, open coding, and theoretical coding. Emerging themes were (a) effective and meaningful professional development, (b) teacher contributions to professional development, (c) teacher perceptions of professional development, and (d) student achievement due to professional development. Results indicated that although teachers perceive professional development as a tool for learning, teacher leadership, analysis of student achievement data, and collaboration are needed to increase its effectiveness. This study may contribute to positive social change by improving professional development practices in school districts, leading to enhanced student academic achievement and preparation for careers.