Professional development design in elementary school blended learning environments : changes in teacher mindsets and adaptive thinking skills
This mixed method convergent study explored the impact of design and delivery of professional development practices in a large, urban school district in Missouri. Certificated classroom teachers at 23 pre-determined elementary school sites (541 participants) were electronically surveyed. Additionally, three department leaders were interviewed and their responses provided insights about core features of professional development (content focused, active learning, coherence, duration and collective participation) present within the district. The International Association for K-12 Online Learning's (iNACOL) Blended Learning Teacher Competency Framework and transformative learning theory both provided a lens for examining professional development design and practice within the research study. The quantitative results of the study reveal significant increase in teacher responses from the technical skill and adaptive thinking domains. Additionally, qualitative data collected during the study found professional development delivered during the implementation window did include all five core features of professional development (content focused, active learning, coherence, duration and collective participation). While significance was noted in several variables studied, the Mindset domain showed no significant improvements in teacher responses on either measurement.
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