Date of Award

Fall 10-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Lynda Leavitt

Second Advisor

Dr. Vincent Boyd

Third Advisor

Ms. Christine Smith

Abstract

To determine if a relationship existed between teacher professional development and student reading achievement for grades K-2, the researcher conducted a mixedmethods study to examine reading achievement and teacher professional development in a Midwest urban school district. If the researcher was able to show a relationship between teacher professional development and student reading achievement, recommendations could be made on research-based professional development models proven to increase student academic achievement and improve instructional practices within an underachieving school district. To determine if a relationship existed between the above-mentioned variables, the researcher examined student standardized reading achievement scores and teacher survey responses during winter 2015 and winter 2016. In addition, the researcher examined professional development contact hours and student reading scores. Through quantitative analysis of 30 participants, the findings indicated a relationship between reading achievement and teacher professional development. The researcher used qualitative observational data to determine how teachers applied instructional practices after participation in professional development. Using Guskey’s Five Levels of Professional Development Evaluation and the Professional Practice Observation Tool, results indicated no change in teacher instructional practices after participation in professional development. Study results revealed professional development should occur with teacher involvement in the planning process and collaboration during professional learning communities. In addition, the researcher concluded professional development experiences should focus on training teachers in the pedagogy of foundational reading skills.

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