A Study of Online Professional Development for Principals as the Course for Statewide Change

Casimer F. Badynee, Seton Hall University


In America, local, state, and federal interventions have played a critical role in public education reform since the late 18th century. The reform efforts of the late 20th century and early 21st century have involved legislative acts to improve accountability for student performance. Illinois state law mandated a teacher observation and evaluation protocol for public school administrators. Principals participated in a rigorous, online, professional development training program. The focus of the training program was to build principal self-efficacy and to indirectly impact the learning environment. This study assesses the effectiveness of the online training program as a professional development vehicle for principals. Employing a qualitative case study methodology, this study assesses principal self-efficacy and the transfer of the professional development learning objectives into the learning environment. To that end, this study employs a researcher-constructed interview process soliciting a principal’s perceptions, beliefs, and barriers of the online professional development program as a course for statewide change.