Teachers' perspectives of the career-stage appropriateness of professional learning programs
Rinaldi, Anna Grace Puma
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The purpose of this study was to describe teachers’ perspectives regarding career- stage appropriateness of professional growth opportunities offered in one countywide school system in southeastern United States. Symbolic interactionism was the theoretical framework of the study, and the methodology was grounded theory. Face-to-face interviews were the primary data source. Constant comparative analysis was used to analyze the data and to generate theory grounded in the data. Data revealed that teachers interviewed for this study believed that career-stage appropriate professional learning is designed around three elements. The teachers believed that professional learning is career-stage appropriate when the participants are able to choose the content of their learning. The teachers also believed that professional learning is career-stage appropriate when it is delivered by an experienced educator. Finally, the teachers believed that career-stage appropriate professional learning uses active engagement as the primary delivery method. The study also revealed that in order for professional learning specialists to design career-stage appropriate professional learning, they must consider not only the characteristics of adult learning but also many other areas of adult development. Implications for future research are discussed, and implications for practitioners, as well as for higher education, are presented.