Dissertation Defense Announcement

The College of Education announces the final dissertation defense of

Trainer B. Kern

for the degree of Doctor of Education

April 5, 2016 at 9:30am in 405 Ball Hall


Major Advisor: Beverly Cross, PhD

An Investigation of the Relationship between Elementary Teachers’ Assessment of the Quality and Need for Professional Development, the Level of Teacher Self-Efficacy Evidenced by Faculty and Student Achievement Outcomes Measured School-Wide

Despite the vast existing body of research on professional development and student achievement, little is known about how teachers’ perceptions of professional development relate to other aspects of their classroom effectiveness. This research attempted to link elementary teachers’ assessment of the quality of professional development, need for professional development, and collective teacher efficacy with student achievement at their school. This research also examined the possible influence that teachers’ number of years of experience, and their staying or leaving the teaching profession, have on their perceptions in relationship to student achievement. This quantitative study used secondary data analysis from the Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) Working Condition Survey and state achievements tests (2009-2010). The correlation with individual and school-level outcomes showed quality of professional development and collective teacher efficacy as the strongest relationship, though teachers’ perceptions at the school level were linked with student achievement. When teachers were placed in subgroups based on years of teaching and professional development impact on student learning, correlations between quality of professional development scale means, sum of professional development needs, and collective faculty’s efficacy means were statically significant in each subgroup. However, using the Fisher r to z transformation, tests of the difference between two independent variables showed no strength in their relationships. Finally, in terms of their students’ achievement, elementary teachers who remained at their schools outperformed teachers who chose to leave the profession. Future research should focus on which specific types of professional development are essential to classroom teachers’ needs.