A SURVEY OF PRINCIPALS' PERCEPTIONS OF THEIR WEEKLY SCHOOL-BASED STAFF DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS (PENNSYLVANIA)

ELLEN G LINKY, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

The purpose of the study is to determine which, and with what frequency, the practices identified in the literature as preferred for effective teacher staff development are present in the weekly school-based staff development programs, as perceived by the principals in Kindergarten to grade six Philadelphia, Pennsylvania public schools, and to identify those strategies and conditions which help and hinder implementation. Although there now exists established research in ineffective and effective teacher staff development programs, there is little research which compares the theoretical preferred practices to those practices in operation.^ The study: (A) Describes the researched preferred practices in effective teacher staff development. (B) Analyzes how often the preferred practices are implemented in the weekly school-based programs. (C) Reports the strategies and conditions which help and hinder implementation of the preferred practices. (D) Explains the recommendations of the school principals for improving school-based teacher staff development.^ The methodology chosen for this study represents survey research. Data related to the research problems were collected using a 30 item survey form and a four part interview procedure.^ The date substantiates these findings: (1) The preferred practices in the recent literature are supported in different subject areas. (2) In governance (decision-making), principals did not implement the preferred practices related to collaboration. (3) In substance (program content), principals did not implement the preferred practices related to teachers sharing their personal skills and interests. (4) In mode (group size and presentation format), principals did not implement the preferred practices related to training options. (5) In delivery (training, implementation-on-the-job, teacher recognition), principals did not implement the preferred practices related to variety of program leadership. (6) Principals recommended that programs reflect: (a) unified purposes, (b) flexible scheduling, (c) autonomy in budget and personnel. (7) Principals agreed that inadequate time, budget, personnel; unresponsive bureaucracy; and teachers' contract hindered the preferred practices.^ The findings substantiate these conclusions: (1) Operational practices do not rely on adult learning theories and special characteristics of classroom teachers. (2) Operational staff development programs do not include the preferred program components. (3) Operational staff development programs do not demonstrate the preferred practices as recommended in the research. (4) School-based teacher staff development can be improved by alteration of the budget, bureaucracy and labor contract.^

Subject Area

Education, Administration

Recommended Citation

ELLEN G LINKY, "A SURVEY OF PRINCIPALS' PERCEPTIONS OF THEIR WEEKLY SCHOOL-BASED STAFF DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS (PENNSYLVANIA)" (January 1, 1984). Dissertations available from ProQuest. Paper AAI8420436.
http://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI8420436

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