Date of Award

7-27-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Patricia Pinciotti, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Mary Anne Hannibal, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Alison Rutter, Ed.D.

Abstract

Teacher preparation programs that are linked to Professional Development School (PDS) partnerships address the complexity of classrooms by embedding the learning of teaching in authentic contexts. This study investigated the preparation, perceptions, and professional paths of East Stroudsburg University's (ESU) elementary education (ELED) professional development school beginning teachers. ESU ELED PDS graduates' perceptions of self-efficacy in the categories of teaching behaviors, responsibilities, and leadership were examined using a mixed method design and included graduate retention and attrition data. Data in the area of retention and attrition was limited due to few survey responses from teachers who left the field (7.5%). Despite this low response rate, there were similarities between the study data and national data citing dissatisfaction with working conditions and salary. Study results compared with the most recent national attrition data identified similarities in attrition rate. Survey data gathered from graduates and principals on teaching behaviors, teacher responsibilities, and leadership and subsequent follow-up interviews identified many perceived strengths of ESU's PDS partnerships and only a few weaker areas. In the teaching behaviors category, graduates reported a strong relationship between their experience and ability to employ cooperative learning strategies, implement curriculum, and utilize differentiated instruction, and principals verified strengths in employing cooperative learning strategies, implementing curriculum, using technology, and utilizing differentiated instruction. Similarly, in the category of teacher responsibilities, graduates indicated perceived strengths in lesson development, implementing classroom management strategies, maintaining a safe classroom, motivating students, and analyzing data, while principals cited analyzing data and developing lessons as strength areas. In the leadership category, graduates reported two strength areas: advocating for students and the teaching profession and assuming leadership roles, with principals verifying a strength in seeking opportunities to acquire and demonstrate leadership. Overall, there was a positive relationship between graduates' perceptions of their PDS experiences and areas in the three categories analyzed. Comparative data suggests consistency between areas of the graduates' self-perception and the principals' perceptions. Based upon the data gathered and analyzed throughout this study, it appears that ESU provided its graduates with a variety of beneficial clinical experiences pertaining to teaching behaviors, teacher responsibilities, and leadership.

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