The purpose of this study was to identify staff development strategies, organizational contexts, and teacher characteristics that were associated with positive impacts on teachers_ attitudes and practices. The study focused on 89 elementary teachers in 11 schools across 5 districts, all of whom participated in a state-sponsored staff development project during the 1999/2000 academic year. This staff development initiative was designed to assist teachers in acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to develop and implement standards-based math instruction and assessment in their classrooms.
Using surveys, interviews, and written teacher logs, data were gathered regarding the amounts and types of staff development in which teachers engaged, teachers_ concerns about standards-based instruction and assessment, school and teacher characteristics thought to influence the adoption and use of standards-based instruction and assessment, and the frequency with which teachers employed various instructional and assessment strategies in their classrooms. Stepwise regression analyses were subsequently performed to explore the utility of using school features, teacher characteristics, and types of staff development in which teachers engaged to predict residual gains in concern about and reported use of standards-based instruction and assessment.
Study findings revealed that residual gains in level of concern about standards-based instruction and assessment in mathematics were significantly predicted by teacher involvement in the following staff development activities: examining/analyzing student work and implementing standards-based classroom activities while carrying out action research. Furthermore, increases in teacher self-efficacy were found to be associated with residual gains in intensity of concern, while involvement in curriculum development was associated with negative gains in level of concern. Finally, analyses revealed that a combination of personal (years teaching), organizational (principal supportiveness and organizational climate), and staff development (curriculum development) factors were influential in predicting residual gains in use of standards_based instruction and assessment.
The implications of this study on the design of future change initiatives were presented, as were recommendations for future research. The limitations of this study were also thoroughly discussed.
Gracia, Susan, "Staff Development Strategies and Contexts Associated with Positive Impacts on Teachers_ Attitudes and Practices" (2000). Faculty Publications. 270.