Teachers as agents of change : how knowledge gained from secondary English language arts professional development impacts classroom practices
Gathering information about how secondary English Language Arts (ELA) teachers use pedagogical content knowledge gained from professional development (PD) to change their classroom practices in one Midwest Missouri school district has the potential to change how future ELA PD is delivered. The researcher examined teachers’ perceptions through 21 individual interviews and a focus group as well as district archival surveys administered after three ELA content PD days during the 2017-18 school year. Participants shared their thoughts on effective elements of PD, how teachers implement classroom change and how those changes influence student learning, as well as how teachers know they are growing. This research is qualitative in nature utilizing purposeful sampling, open coding, and an hermeneutic method to identify themes and interpret responses. Data discovered the use of teacher experts, time for collaboration, and participating in reflective practices as the most important elements in gaining new knowledge and impacting classroom practices.