Professional Certification Program in Secondary Education
Teacher Professional Learning and Change: A Case Study in a Suburban Public High School in New York State
This research explores how teachers learn, develop, and adapt their teaching methods using a case study of a US suburban public high school in New York State. My main research questions are: 1) What are the major influences on the way teachers teach? 2) How does teacher professional learning impact instructional change? 3) How much resistance, if any, do teachers show toward professional learning programs? I collected data via questionnaires, individual interviews, and observations of professional development sessions. Main findings are: 1) teacher professional learning has to be relevant, both professionally and personally; 2) it is necessary to provide multiple forms and topics in teacher learning; 3) teachers’ strong belief in student-centered instruction seems to strongly motivate them to keep learning; 4) teachers view peer interaction as one of the major factors in their professional learning involvement; and 5) financial incentives played a major role in motivating teachers to be engaged in professional
development programs. This research calls for the redefinition of how we calculate education cost since teacher learning is an integral and inseparable part of quality education.