Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name



Higher Education

First Advisor

Frank Tuitt


The key to improving education is the classroom teacher. Students must have

skillful, highly effective teachers who have consistent access to on going professional

development. NCLB offers guidelines for effective professional development. States

interpret these guidelines and add their own varied legislative requirements. The current

result is an eclectic mix of ideas, methods, and approaches. This investigation explored

the current professional development literature through the lens of Jack Mezirow's

transformational theory of adult learning. Overlaid with theory wasThomas Guskey's

model of effective professional development which resulted in a tool for planning and

evaluating ongoing teacher education. A survey crafted around Guskey's five levels of

professional development was given to 186 elementary classroom teachers in an inner

city school district. Qualitative research methods were used to examine the district's

current program effectiveness and to inform recommendations for improving its efficacy

for all stakeholders. This study confirmed professional development that valued a

teacher's personal background, included their present teaching context and focused on

real time applications was considered effective by teachers and thus more likely to effect

change in their classroom pedagogy. Additionally, it was beneficial when professional

development included time for participants to both personally reflect on and to dialog

with other colleagues about their learning. This investigation has implications for those

involved in the ongoing education of teachers at every level from inception to evaluation.


Copyright is held by the author.


Recieved from ProQuest

Rights holder

Leslie Diane Stahl

File size

162 p.

File format





Higher education, Educational leadership