Date of Award

Fall 12-11-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Executive Ed.D. in Education Leadership Management and Policy

Department

Education Leadership, Management and Policy

Advisor

Elaine Walker, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Daniel Gutmore, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mark DeMareo

Keywords

professional development, teacher experience, grade level taught, working conditions, job satisfaction

Abstract

“Over the next ten years, 1.6 million teachers will retire, and 1.6 million new teachers will be needed to take their place. This poses both an enormous challenge and an extraordinary opportunity for our education system: “if we succeed in recruiting, preparing, and retaining great teaching talent, we can transform public education in this country and finally begin to deliver an excellent education for every child” (Duncan, 2011, pg. 1). Indeed, teacher preparation and professional development is an extremely important issue facing our educational system today. There is a great deal of research that supports the idea that the most important factor that affects student achievement is a highly qualified effective teacher (Rockoff, 2004; Harding & Parsons 2011; Phillips 2010; Sanders & Rivers 1996; Desimone & Long 2010). This one variable has, over the course of time, stood up as the most important on a child’s education.

There are four research questions that are investigated through this study:

1) To what extent is there a relationship between teacher’s satisfaction with their professional development experiences and the magnitude of teacher job satisfaction while controlling for grade level taught and teacher’s years of experience working in education?

2) To what extent is there a relationship between teacher’s satisfaction with their professional development experiences and teacher working conditions while controlling for grade level taught and teacher’s years of experience working in education?

3) Of the three characteristics of effective professional development: Collaboration, Time and Resources, and Enhancement of Teacher’s Knowledge, which has the strongest relationship with teacher job satisfaction?

4) Of the four areas of teacher working conditions: Time Factors, Facilities and Resources, School Leadership and satisfaction with Professional Development, which has the strongest relationship with teacher professional development?

Based on this study there was no statistically significant relationship found between teacher professional development and the magnitude of teacher job satisfaction while controlling for grade level taught and teacher’s years of experience working in education. The analysis of the data in this study showed there was a significant relationship between teacher professional development and teacher working conditions while controlling for grade level taught and teacher’s years of experience working in education.Based on the results, none of the characteristics of effective professional development that were explored in this study had a statistically significant relationship with teacher job satisfaction.All four factors of teacher professional development had moderate to strong relationships and were statistically significant.

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