Great expectations : a qualitative study of selection, school preparation, and implementation of a professional development program
This study explored the experiences surrounding the selection, preparations, and implementation of a professional development program, Great Expectations, at two schools that adopted the program at different times in their existence. Twelve participants took part in this basic qualitative study which utilized three forms of data collection: (a) interviews, (b) observations, and (c) document and video clip analysis. The researcher analyzed data as it was collected. Upon completion of the data collection, the researcher used constant comparative, inductive analysis, which resulted in the emergence of themes and subthemes. The study's findings revealed differences at the two schools, as well as some similar experiences. Although neither school's participants had a say in the decision-making process, the new school had positive wordings while the existing school voiced negative experiences. The preparations for implementation revealed an extensive time commitment in training and classroom preparation at both schools with some differences in the emotional aspects. Again, the experiences were more positive at the new school. The practices to maintain fidelity of implementation revealed several similarities, with differences in human resources provided. The findings indicate the need for a plan when implementing a school-wide professional development program. The plan should include more stakeholder voices at the decision-making table, more time and resources during contract time for preparation, and continued support during the practice of implementation.
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