Teachers' perceptions about the types, quality, and impact of their job-embedded professional development experiences

Delilah Mitchell, University of Southern Mississippi

Abstract

This study was designed to determine eighth grade teachers' perceptions of the impact, quality, and types of job-embedded professional development activities they have participated in and the relationship to student achievement in language arts, math, or science. The researcher identified school districts with 50% or more of their eighth grade students scoring proficient or advanced on all three areas of Mississippi's Curriculum Test, Second Edition (MCT2). Sixty-four eighth grade language arts, math, or science teachers who had been at their current school at least two years completed a questionnaire created by the researcher. Multiple Linear Regression and Pearson's Correlation were used to analyze data. Surprisingly, the findings indicated very little participation in content related professional development. Respondents mainly participated in traditional workshops and conferences that took place in their school district. Of all of the types of job-embedded professional development, traditional job-embedded professional development was rated highest in quality and had the greatest impact on student achievement. Respondents rarely participated in non-traditional activities such as interning, coaching, and data teams. As individual variables, participation, quality, and types of job-embedded professional development were perceived to be significant. Yet, when grouped together and compared to the actual MCT2 scores, a statistically significant relationship was not found in any of the content areas.