Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Professional development is a learning process that continues throughout the career of an educator providing opportunities for teachers to fine tune their teaching and improve classroom practices. The middle level teachers at Middle School A believe they are lacking in effective professional development. The purpose of the project study was to determine what the perceptions of middle level teachers are regarding effective professional development. The ability for teachers to transfer their learning into the classroom is vital to the success of the students at this Central Ohio middle school. Mezirow’s transformative learning theory of adult learning, which states that adults use previous experiences to reconstruct new learning experiences by comparing to what they already know allowing for a quicker assimilation of new material, guided the study. The research question focused on teachers’ perceptions of what they perceive effective professional development to be. A general qualitative study design was used to collect data from 8 teachers using interviews at the local middle school. Data were analyzed and coded based on common themes. Member checking and triangulation of the data were used to ensure accuracy and credibility. The findings of the study showed that teachers at the study site believe effective professional development is focused around teacher choice, differentiation, and relevance and applicability to the classroom. The findings of this study also show that a policy paper is needed to enlighten district stakeholders to the problem with the current provided professional development program. This project may influence social change by spurring administrators to provide professional development experiences that offer teachers choice to the teachers and is differentiated to meet the teachers’ needs.