Date of Award

Summer 8-2014

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. Thelma Roberson

Committee Member 2 Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 3

Dr. Leslie Locke

Committee Member 3 Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 4

Dr. James T. Johnson

Abstract

This study was designed to investigate the professional development practices of public schools in Mississippi. More specifically, the causal comparative design sought to discover if there were differences in professional development practices between low-performing public schools in Mississippi and high-performing public schools in Mississippi. For the purposes of this study, high-performing schools were classified A or B and low-performing schools were classified D or F by the Mississippi Department of Education. Classifications were based on student performance measures from the statewide testing system for the 2012-2013 school year.

The review of literature guided the examination of differences in perceived value placed on professional development, perceived delivery of professional development, perceived follow-up of professional development, perceived collaborative process of professional development, perceived duration of professional development, and perceived integration of data into professional development. Data were obtained through survey methodology with survey instruments completed by principals and certified teachers employed in the 2013-2014 school year. The instruments were distributed to educators in both low-performing public schools in Mississippi and high-performing public schools in Mississippi.

The results of this study revealed a statistically significant difference in the perceived collaborative process of professional development between teachers and principals of low-performing public schools in Mississippi and high-performing public schools in Mississippi. Furthermore, the results of this study also revealed a statistically significant difference in the perceived integration of data into professional development between teachers and principals of low-performing public schools in Mississippi and high-performing public schools in Mississippi.