Teachers' perspectives on a self-directed staff development program based upon principles of action research
Husby, Vicki Robinson
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The purpose of this study was to explore the perspectives of teachers participating in a self-directed staff development program based upon principles of action research. A grounded theory approach was used to determine the perspectives, i.e., the meanings, that teachers attributed to their involvement in the staff development program. Data collection was guided by the theoretical framework of symbolic interactionism, and sources of data included journal responses composed by the teachers, participant interviews, audiotape recordings of staff development sessions, learning plans completed by the teachers, and researcher observation and notes. In addition, the Self-Directed Learning Readiness Scale was administered as a pre- and post-assessment of participants’ self-directed learning readiness. Comparative analysis was employed to develop and interrelate descriptive categories that explained teachers’ perspectives of the program. Study findings indicate that teachers’ perspectives included 3 primary categories: intrapersonal, academic, and social. The intrapersonal category illuminated the teachers’ pervasive desire to view themselves positively as well as to have others view them positively. The academic category chronicled teachers’ learning within the staff development program. The social category encompassed the teachers’ interactions with other participants and the researcher. Teachers were impacted intrapersonally by their academic and social experiences. Other findings included improvement in group readiness for self-directed learning and benefits unique to this staff development program.