Date of Conferral
Many researchers have concluded that teachers' frustration with the lack of quality teacher professional development can be addressed by acknowledging teachers' voices and involving them in the planning and design of their professional development. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to explore 3rd through 5th grade elementary teachers' experiences with professional development in their schools or in their district in Southern California. Hargreaves and Fullan's concept of professional capital and Shulman's construct of knowledge growth in teaching provided the conceptual framework for this study. The research questions that framed the interview protocol for this study focused on teachers' experiences and ideas for professional development. Open coding of interviews with 8 teachers determined common words, phrases, or sentences and constant comparison determined emergent themes. Findings that emerged were that district professional development lacked continuity and was experienced as overwhelming, ineffective, inadequate, and often insufficient. Teachers perceived that their needs were seldom met and their involvement in the planning and design of professional development was limited. The elementary teachers desire reflective processing time to become masters of their craft, as well as active involvement in planning and designing their professional development. This study may contribute to positive social change by providing insight to professional development designers that teachers desire involvement in planning training with more engagement and higher levels of learning which can contribute to improved student outcomes. Collaboration such as that found in professional learning communities could accomplish this goal.