Date of Conferral
Dr. Deborah Bauder
School reform efforts ultimately affect the students, but what is seldom looked at is how they affect teachers. This phenomenological study examined the experiences of teachers with regards to web-based professional development during a systemic change. The purpose of this qualitative study was to generate an in-depth understanding of the lived experiences of 6 teachers in a Southeastern state who had participated in the initial process of implementing organizational changes and the diffusion of the new state educational standards. Rogers's diffusion of innovation theory served as the study's conceptual framework. Research questions focused on the perspectives of teachers regarding the impact of web-based professional development on implementing the new state standards, and the perceived barriers and challenges faced in their attempts to make the implementation of the new state standards successful. Interview data were analyzed using first- and second-level coding to identify external and internal factors related to the research questions and themes that emerged across all interview transcripts. Key findings indicted that teachers perceived that they did not receive adequate professional development or planning time to implement the new standards. This study has implications for social change on an organizational and individual level. On an organizational level, districts can provide K-12 teachers with an implementation process that allows adequate planning time and proper professional development that enhances their pedagogical needs by using a framework more aligned to the diffusion innovation theory. Teachers can then better plan instruction with ample time to acquire, process, and implement new knowledge, allowing them to improve their pedagogical practice.