Date of Award

Fall 12-11-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Chair

Dr. David Lee

Committee Chair Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 2

Dr. Kyna Shelley

Committee Member 2 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 3

Dr. Richard Mohn

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Studies and Research

Committee Member 4

Dr. James Fox

Committee Member 4 Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to determine if there was any significant relationship between specific elements of professional learning and students’ performance on the state mandated Mississippi Subject Area Testing Program (SATP2). The study includes the design qualities of professional learning, the level of teacher involvement in the professional learning process, teacher beliefs regarding professional learning, and perceived administrative support of professional learning programs. The researcher utilized an original survey instrument entitled Professional Learning Design and Perception to gather quantitative data for the study. High school teachers of Algebra I, Biology I, English II, and U. S. History in sixteen districts across coastal Mississippi during the 2013-2014 were asked to voluntarily participate in the study since their students were required to take end of course assessments in these subject areas. Participating districts’ percentages of passing scores in each subject area were utilized as archival data for the study.

Data indicated that while respondents’ participated in a wide variety of professional learning opportunities, peer collaboration, workshops, and PLCs were the most attended. Additionally, data revealed that a majority of respondents were not given much choice when it came to the type of professional learning they attended; however, learning did align with state curriculum standards. Respondents also indicated that they did not have much input into their own professional learning, nor did student data play a significant role in the professional learning process.

One significant relationship revealed during the research was a slight positive correlation between teacher input in the professional learning process and students’ scores on the SATP2 assessment. Additionally, data indicated that collectively all of the professional learning elements targeted for research were significant in the prediction of SATP2 scores, while individually, the only coefficient indicating significance was respondents’ beliefs.

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