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Professional development, teacher efficacy, and collaboration in Title I middle schools

ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 2009
Dissertation
Author: MaryMargret Rostan
Abstract:
A problem exists in the U.S. education system regarding the efforts to refine professional development and gain a deeper understanding of content knowledge to impact teachers' abilities to meet students' needs. Many teachers have not had the professional development opportunities that support the improvement of teaching skills and knowledge. The purpose of study was to examine the relationship of professional development to teacher and collaborative efficacy. The perceptions of Title I middle school teachers facing No Child Left Behind (NCLB) school reform were interpreted through the collected data. Theoretical foundations focused on Bandura's social cognitive theory, adult learning, and transformational change theory. A descriptive mixed method concurrent nested design was used with the independent variable being professional development and the dependent variable being levels of teacher efficacy and perceived collaboration efforts in professional development venues. Quantitative and qualitative data were derived from responses to an adapted Professional Development Survey Questionnaire administered one time to a convenience sample of teacher participants. Qualitative data included development agendas, site monitoring and school improvement reports. Pearson correlation and ANOVA were used to analyze the quantitative data and qualitative data were content analyzed concurrently. Findings included teacher self-efficacy being strengthened by professional development collaborative activities and that participants related these professional development experiences to increased student outcomes. The positive social change implications included opportunity for research based policy changes that impact professional development for teachers to aid in their endeavors to raise achievement levels and to meet NCLB mandates.

iii TABLE OF CONTENTS

TABLE OF CONTENTS ................................................................................................... iii

LIST OF TABLES ...............................................................................................................v

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY...........................................................1

Introduction ....................................................................................................................1 Background ....................................................................................................................2 Problem Statement .........................................................................................................5

Purpose of Study ........................................................................................................... 7 Nature of the Study ........................................................................................................8

Research Questions and Hypotheses ...........................................................................10

Research Questions ......................................................................................... 10

Theoretical Framework ................................................................................................10

Definition of Terms......................................................................................................14

Assumptions .................................................................................................................16

Scope and Delimitations ............................................................................................. 17 Limitations ...................................................................................................................18

Significance of the Study ............................................................................................19 Summary and Transition ..............................................................................................19

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW ...........................................................................22 Introduction ..................................................................................................................22 History of Professional Development ..........................................................................23 Professional Development ...........................................................................................27 NCLB Reform ..............................................................................................................30 Efficacy ........................................................................................................................33 Self Efficacy/Teacher Efficacy ....................................................................................34 Collaborative Efficacy .................................................................................................37 Transformative Theory/Adult Learning Theory ..........................................................39 Mixed Methodology.....................................................................................................43 Summary ......................................................................................................................44

CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHOD .............................................................................47

Introduction ..................................................................................................................47 Research Design and Approach ...................................................................................49

Research Questions and Hypotheses ...........................................................................52

Research Questions ................................................................................................52 Setting and Sample ......................................................................................................53 Treatment .....................................................................................................................55

iv Instrumentation and Materials .....................................................................................56 Data Collection and Analyses ......................................................................................60 Participant Rights .........................................................................................................63

CHAPTER 4: RESULTS ...................................................................................................65

Introduction ..................................................................................................................65 Research Design Strategy ............................................................................................66

Descriptive Analyses ...................................................................................................67

Findings for Research Question ...................................................................................69

Research Question One .................................................................................. 69

Research Question Two ................................................................................. 71

Qualitative Data .............................................................................................. 52

Summary Analyses ......................................................................................................77

CHAPTER 5: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION, AND RECOMMENDATIONS ...............80

Introduction and Overview ................................................................................... 80 Summary Review of Findings .............................................................................. 80

Interpretation of Findings ..................................................................................... 80

Implication for Social Change .............................................................................. 83

Recommendations for Action ............................................................................... 85

Recommendations for Further Study .................................................................... 86 Researcher's Reflectio n …………………………………………………………87 Summary and Conclusions ................................................................................... 87

REFERENCES ..................................................................................................................89

APPENDIX A: NCLB vs NSDC .......................................................................................95

APPENDIX B: SURVEY QUESTIONNAIRE and APPROVAL LETTERS ..................98

APPENDIX C: EVALUATION EXAMPLE ..................................................................198

APPENDIX D: AGENDA EXAMPLES .........................................................................198

APPENDIX E: SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PLAN EXCERPTS .................................198

APPENDIX F: MONITORING EXAMPLE ...................................................................198 CURRICULUM VITAE ..................................................................................................117

v LIST OF TABLES Table 1. Demographic Data of Survey Respondents ....................................................... 67

Table 2. Teacher Content Area ........................................................................................ 68

Table 3. Correlations of Trainings and Efficacy .............................................................. 69

Table 4. Number of Trainings Attended .......................................................................... 70

Table 5. ANOVA Summary ............................................................................................ 71

Table 6. Correlations of Subscales................................................................................... 72

Table 7. Agenda Topics, Audience, Evaluation: School A ............................................. 74

Table 8. Agenda Topics, Audience, Evaluation: School B .............................................. 75

Table 9. Agenda Topics, Audience, Evaluation: School C .............................................. 76

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY Introduction Professional development has been a focus of educators and researchers for decades. The focus of this study was to examine the relationship that professional development has on impacting teachers working in at-risk middle schools. The study evaluated the perceptions that the adult learner relayed regarding the relationship of efficacy and collaborative perceptions to job-embedded professional development provided as a result of school reform mandates. Since the inception of No Child Left Behind (NCLB Act of 2001,) schools targeted as in need of improvement are faced with the task of fulfilling the mandates set forth by the law. NCLB accountability has required leaders to address professional development and achievement at the forefront of school improvement. School districts have placed concerted efforts on professional development especially in Title I schools which are required to provide professional development training (NCLB Act of 2001). Leaders know that successful schools succeed because of the climate and communication displayed in the school and district (Lindsey, Roberts, & CampbellJones, (2005, p. 128). Aligning the professional development with useful information to assist teachers in building a depth of knowledge and deepen teacher efficacy enhances skills in the classroom. For example, collaborative professional development, as discussed by Deshler (2007), provides a scenario of ongoing, long-term trainings based on research approaches that maximize efficacy, satisfaction, and confidence in abilities of both selves and students. Professional development should

2 address both content and strategy. “Perhaps the most critical shift in learning theory during the past 20 years has been to move away from a conception of learning as passive absorption of information to a conception of learning as the active engagement of meaning” (Wilson & Peterson, 2006, p. 1). Active planning and participation of staff promotes active learning. Background In the goal year of 2014, as stated in NCLB (2001), all students must be academically proficient. The National Staff Development Council (NSDC) (2007) stated the new purpose for the organization is to assure the connection between professional development and student learning. The foundation for effective professional development should consider school goals, diverse learner needs, collaboration, and time for reflection. “High performing schools don’t just happen, educators working together with a focus on student learning make them happen” (NSDC, 2007, p. 7). In order to reach the 2014 benchmark, teachers must be given every opportunity to ensure self-efficacy, build an internal knowledge base, and meet the academic needs of students. “Training is required for teachers to acquire new skills and attitudes, to take on the new and unfamiliar roles that empowerment and collaboration engender, and to tackle the challenges schools face,” (Seed, 2008, p. 588). School goals should include meeting the needs of teachers. NCLB (2001) mandates policies that guide Title I schools to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). Each state sets a benchmark percentage of growth per year. Section 1116 (8) of NCLB specifically outlines school improvement and addresses professional development guidelines for schools that do not reach the set benchmark or

3 AYP. The report from the United States Government Accountability Office (2008) indicated that without Title I funds many schools would not be able to provide the support and professional development training to build a foundational base of strategies to assist teachers in expansion of knowledge. The report addressed specific issues regarding NCLB and school improvement, reiterating the effect professional development has on developing teacher knowledge and building efficacy. Schools that are in need of improvement must distribute 10% of the Title I allocated funds toward professional development. The mandates placed on Title I schools and recommendations that poured out of the 1983 Nation at Risk document has placed stress and scrutiny on school leaders and teachers due to the focus on test scores and accountability. Schools must define the circumstances that are essential for teacher improvement. Federal reports and researchers from the Center of Education Policy (2007), headed by Jennings, indicated that standard scores in reading and math for students in Nevada have varied. The Center’s findings emerged from the analysis of student performance on the Nevada assessments: Trends in the percentage of students scoring proficient in reading between 2004 and 2006 varied across the grade levels analyzed (for the two years). Percentages proficient showed decreases at grades 5 and 8. In math, we found increases at grades 3 and 5, and slight increases at grade 8. (Center of Education Policy, 2007, p.2)

In reviewing Nevada’s Report Card for 2007, student test scores from this district continued to show an increase in both math and reading scores, but individual Title I schools remain in need of improvement. Indicators reflected that test scores may be improving, but teachers are still lacking the support needed to assist students to pass the

4 point of mediocrity (Seed, 2008). Since the AYP proficiency bar is steadily increasing toward the 100% goal by 2014, increasing teacher efficacy through professional development in the Title I schools may give equal opportunity to at risk students to retain the highest qualified teachers and close the gap in student achievement. The focus of this study was to examine the actions of adult learners charged with fulfilling the mandates of NCLB. Specifically, the target group consisted of teachers working in three at risk Title I middle schools in a large urban district. The task was to convey perceptions of growth after bridging school climate and building efficacy through staff development. The district has experienced growth over the past decade to become the fifth largest district in the country. According to the Nevada Department of Education (2008), schools considered at risk and eligible for Title I funds have common factors including teacher turnover, staff increase, and diverse teacher competence that present challenges when designing professional development plans. Middle schools were chosen because staff development has added challenges due to the unique grade level combination and school structure. The core subject teachers need the support and collaboration of those teaching elective subjects. Three Title I middle schools were chosen that are reflective of the current district demographics, 40.5% Hispanic, and many large urban districts across the country. While all schools have similar professional development challenges, NCLB (2001) mandates apply to Title I schools. For example, each Title I school must submit a plan describing the actions that will take place to reach proficiency. A detailed professional development plan utilizing 10% the Title I budget must be described and monitored throughout the year, (NCLB, 2001, Section 1116). This

5 study provides feedback for all levels of teachers. Although school improvement status is based on student test scores, teacher development is the key to attaining student engagement. The intent of the study was to collect data to understand the relationship between the mandates of NCLB school improvement, specifically professional development activities, teacher efficacy and collaboration in Title I middle schools. Wolfe, Viger, Javinen, and Linksman (2007) concluded that professional development programs designed to assist teachers in building competency in classroom instruction created feelings of comfort, confidence thus self-efficacy. Problem Statement A problem exists in U.S. education system regarding professional development and the efforts to refine and enhance teacher performance levels. The problem impacts student achievement because when teachers lack the content knowledge and understanding of how to effectively expand their own abilities they cannot meet the needs of students. Professional development has often been stifled or canceled (Geer & Morrison, 2008). Training opportunities have focused on isolated strategy based designs rather than collaborative activities providing both strategy and content development (Honawar, 2008). Teachers in Title I schools often do not know how to meet the variety of challenges that arise when working with high numbers of at-risk children. The NCLB Act encourages professional development to support teachers in efforts to meet student proficiency, but proficiency is rated by one standardized test per year. Although all public schools must report student scores, only Title I schools are subject to the reform mandates and consequences as outlined in the NCLB Act (2001). Meaningful

6 professional development should include strategies and content (Garet, Porter, Desimone, Birman, & Kwang, 2001). Professional development and the depth to which teacher efficacy and collaboration is developed should target improved teaching skills and knowledge. Seed (2008) asserted that with all the recommendations and strategies affirmed by NCLB, the efforts neglect to address the conditions for improving teachers. Despite all the studies on professional development, little has been said about effect of professional development on teacher improvements in teaching (Garet et al., 2001). Many teachers have learned to teach using a model that focuses on memorization without emphasizing a deeper understanding of subject knowledge (Cohen, McLaughlin, & Talbert, 1993). Hargreaves (2003) concurred and wrote: Teachers can no longer take refuge in the basic premises of the pre-professional age: that once you have qualified to teach, you know the basics of teaching forever. Teachers who do not keep learning by more than trial and error are a liability to students. (p. 25)

The study addressed the relationship of efficacy and collaboration with the support of professional development as the underpinnings. The Title I schools face the mandates dictated by NCLB (2001). The failure to meet the desired academic success or AYP for more than 2 years places Title I schools in the NCLB mandated need of improvement years. From year 1 on, professional development is a required instruction of the Title I allocated budget. The school stakeholders are faced with the challenge to make the adequate gains and meet the appropriate testing scores in math and literacy with remodeled leadership, interventions, staff development, and curriculum implementation with fidelity. Many teachers in middle

7 schools, particularly those with high proportions of low performing students, do not believe their students can perform at significant higher levels (Mizell, 2002, p. 33). Professional development strengthens teachers’ self-efficacy, improves practice, and raises teacher expectations for student performance (Mizell, 2002). An additional factor that may contribute to the problem is teacher turnover in at- risk schools. Teachers leave for many reasons, but with proper preparation teacher education could have an impact on efficacy development, diminish the gap between theory and practice, and prepare teachers for the challenges in the classroom (Latham & Vogt, 2007, p.154). Teacher turnover is disruptive and affects the quality of a school and the education it provides (Ingersoll, 2001, p. 505). Ingersoll asserted that school districts must lower hiring standards in order to fill vacant teaching positions, which directly affects a cohesive professional development plan and student learning. Exploring the professional development actions, of chosen Title I middle schools, allowed the researcher to gain a glimpse of a perspective about the theory and depth of implementing trainings and what effect professional development may have toward adult learning and change, the maturity of efficacy, and collaboration. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this descriptive mixed method concurrent nested study examined the theory of transformational learning and the adult learning theory that relates to professional development, teacher efficacy, and collaboration for teachers at three middle schools. A teacher survey reflecting professional development and efficacy beliefs

8 revealed information regarding the relationship between the independent and dependent variables. Teacher efficacy has been brought to the forefront due to NCLB mandates. Sparks (2007) stated: Teaching, in the mental web of many educators, means delivery system for the curriculum, presentation of information, and performance. Recognize that the substantial influence of language and mental maps on professional practices and to encourage explorations of ways cognitive structures may be revealed. (p. 2)

Sparks (2006), in a taped conversation (School Improvement Network,), added that a well designed training program followed by coaching is a preferred method of professional development, but teachers, as learners, need a variety of experiences to fulfill gaps. Collaboration and mentoring are two forms of staff development that build teacher efficacy. “By creating an environment in which knowledge is meaningful to both the individual and the organization, both will grow,” (Forman, 2004, p. i). Hargreaves (2003) reiterated that teachers must pay attention to professional development to build personal growth, and integrity. The Title I middle schools have well designed professional development trainings for the upcoming school year with hopes of meeting the needs of staff members. Nature of the Study The mixed method study encompassed a cross-sectional, descriptive, quantitative survey substantiated by qualitative field notes. The study attempted to discover the parameters of teachers’ efficacy at Title I, need of improvement middle schools. The nature of the study tested the relationship between professional development and teacher

9 efficacy and collaborative efficacy. Professional development supports teacher growth and must address the topics most in need in math or literacy with noteworthy, applicable, and ongoing training. As defined by law (NCLB, 2001) professional development activities must improve and increase teachers’ academic knowledge, must be a part of the school improvement plan, and must be of high quality focusing on the goal of student achievement. Professional development should be developed with participation of administrators and teachers that serve in Title I schools. For example, a school in need of improvement year 5 did not meet the AYP goal in math, then math must be addressed in professional development as mandated by the NCLB act. As part of the NCLB act, a plan of formidable action must be systematically implemented and expected outcomes monitored. The nature of this study attempted to clarify the relationship among quality and professional development, teacher beliefs, and collaborative efforts. The accomplishment of this research was determined by administering a survey and collection of field notes to be further explained in chapter three. The independent variable was the professional development. The dependent variable in the study was teacher efficacy and collaborative efficacy. Data were analyzed to determine if there is a significant relationship between the two variables. Data from the surveys were converted to nominal, ordinal, and ratio scales. Field notes verified the professional development trainings.

10 Research Questions and Hypotheses Research Questions For this predominate quantitative study, the questions and hypotheses were aligned to explore and disseminate information about professional development and teacher efficacy. The independent variable was professional development. The dependent variable included levels teacher efficacy and the collaboration efforts. RQ1: To what degree does participating in job-embedded professional development impact teacher efficacy in Title I middle schools? H 01: There is no relationship between professional development training participation and teacher efficacy levels in Title I middle schools. H a1: There is a relationship between professional development participation and teacher efficacy levels in Title I middle schools. RQ2: To what degree do teacher perceptions regarding collaborative professional development relate to teacher efficacy and change in Title I schools? H 02: There is no relationship between perceptions regarding collaborative, job- embedded professional development and teacher efficacy in Title I middle schools. H a2: There is a relationship between perceptions regarding collaborative, job- embedded professional development and teacher efficacy in Title I middle schools. Theoretical Framework Transformative learning (TL) theory is the bases of instructional frameworks for teacher professional development. Illeris (2004) suggested that contemporary learning theories link prior knowledge to current academic content. Teachers must connect knowledge, content, and the social aspect of learning. Modern theories offer perspectives

11 on differences among adult learners and the shifting of knowledge to the development of thinkers and problem solvers (Wilson & Peterson, 2006). TL may be described as an extensive and comprehensive type of learning (Illeris, 2004, p. 79). The implication of this statement on professional development and teachers is comprehensive. The fundamental implication is that teachers have a multifaceted job of various duties. Teachers in today’s world of school improvement and accountability are expected to have knowledge of content, concepts, strategies, and continually update skills (Wilson & Peterson, 2006). TL addresses the need for a new and comprehensive understanding of learning as not just a cognitive matter, but personal development, (Illeris, 2004). The theoretical learning structure includes two process types: (a) external interaction and (b) internal acquisition process connected to prior knowledge. Illeris (2004) stated: All learning always includes three dimensions--- the cognitive dimension of knowledge and skills, the emotional dimension of feelings and motivation, and the social dimension of communication and cooperation---all of which are embedded in a societally situated context. (p. 82)

While the current mandate of NCLB have yet to be reauthorized, schools that face reform as part of the law must look within. “Teachers’ motivations, capacities, and work setting have a direct effect on their school and classroom practices, (Leithwood & Jantzi, 2006). Transformational or transformative approaches have been studied in organizations and leadership styles and recently been linked to teaching approaches and school reform, according to Leithwood and Jantzi (2006, p. 208). Since professional development is the catalyst between the adult learner and the student learner, a transformative approach would benefit from additional research.

12 According to Gray (2006), adult learning theory emphasizes on the autonomy of individuals as introduced by Knowles in 1975. The learners will self direct the learning. Adult learning theories address the basic concepts of change, behaviors, and experiences. Teachers learn by adding to the known experiences and need to be approached as thinkers (Merriam & Caffarella, 1999). Personal development of the adult learner, if presented effectively, will contribute to TL. Basic design of learning includes: (a) the why participants are learning something, (b) degree of interaction interactive, (c) treat participants as problem-solvers, and (d) ability to be used immediately (Merriam & Caffarella, 1999). Transformation is not complete until new learning is in action (Gray, 2006). Meaningful professional development can transform adult learners. Modern models of staff development including peer coaching, mentoring, learning communities, and collaborative management arose from the NSDC (Sparks & Loucks-Horsley, 1989, 2008) framework design for professional development. Combining NCLB mandates and staff development models produces the steering force that drives schools to improve. The contemporary framework and theoretical ideas, formulated in a partnership with NSDC and the National Partnership for Excellence and Accountability in Teaching (NPEAT) was used to emphasize the relationship between the training and the development of personal knowledge, cognitive development, and collaborative efforts to meet needs of all students, (2003). The teacher efficacy framework for this study is based on Bandura’s (1999) social cognitive theory with self-efficacy as the center. The theory provides assumptions that clarify learning and behavior, thus serving as the catalyst for professional development

13 and teacher self-efficacy. Bandura associated the three human factors to include personal, behavioral, and environmental as being intertwined and impacting self-efficacy and achievement. Further research (, Tschannen-Moran, et al., 1998; Pajares, 2003) confirmed the definition of teacher-efficacy as the ability or belief of the teacher to have a positive effect on student learning. The Tchannen-Moran, et al., (1998) study specifically focused on the implications of teacher efficacy and teacher preparedness with a suggestion of strategies for improving teacher trainings. As educators approach avenues to school improvement, individual and team efforts are essential in support of reaching the accountability goal. Goddard, Hoy, and Woolfolk Hoy (2004) offered the theory of linking teacher self-efficacy and collaborative group efficacy. As a result of combining efforts of meaning professional development to build teacher knowledge capacity, collaborative group efforts ensured the school to be on target for the desired outcomes. Goddard et al. (2004) stated: The strong link between group performance and perceived collective efficacy can be explained by the resiliency with which the efficacious pursue given goals. Analogous of self-efficacy judgments, perceived collective efficacy is associated with the tasks, level of effort, persistence, shared thoughts, stress levels, and achievement of groups. Thus, just as teachers’ sense of efficacy partially explains the effect of teachers on student achievement, from an organizational perspective, a faculty’s sense of collective efficacy helps to explain the differential effect that school cultures have on teachers and students. (p.8)

Although teacher-efficacy is a self-perception, researchers (Goddard, et al., 2004; Ross & Bruce, 2007) affirm that teachers with high efficacy beliefs exude stronger student achievement than teachers with lower efficacy beliefs. Several factors may

14 contribute to student achievement, but there is a definite link from professional development, teacher efficacy, and collaborative efficacy tied to school improvement. The mixed method concurrent nested study nested the qualitative data in the quantitative study. A quantitative methodology consisted of investigating the relationship among the variables and information that were collected from a teacher efficacy survey which included collaborative efficacy questions. Creswell (2003) stated that a quantitative study should construct a picture of issues and test a theory. Survey questions reflected the research questions. Analysis was conducted to explore the results. The single-stage convenience sampling procedure was used to select teacher and administrator volunteer participants from three Title I middle schools in an urban school district in southern Nevada. The focus was the perceptions of teachers based on the professional development, expansion of knowledge content and strategies, and finally the outlook of transference to student learning. Field notes were collected to substantiate the survey results. Since many of the attributes of the schools and the leadership styles of the administrators are similar, the study did involve stratification of the population. Definition of Terms Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP): The accountability system for schools to evaluate the progress toward the goals set by the federal legislation. Nevada AYP classifications are made based the percentage of students tested, the percentage of students tested who score at or above the proficient level on annual statewide tests, and the school graduation or attendance rates. To determine AYP success or failure under NCLB law, Nevada disaggregates data among nine groups where performance is

15 evaluated in a school, which has a large enough sample to be measured. In Nevada, sub groups with at least 25 students are evaluated. (Nevada Department of Education, 2008). Collaborative Efficacy: Defined as extending the Social cognitive theory (Bandura, 1997) from self to collectively uniting a group to solve problems through a unified effort. The shared beliefs of working as a whole instill a feeling of unified empowerment toward the desired results of effort (Goddard, Hoy, & Woolfolk Hoy, 2000). Efficacy: Competence or the ability to produce a desired amount of an effect. Self- efficacy is the belief that one is capable of performing in a certain manner or attaining certain goals. It is a belief that one has the capabilities to execute the courses of actions required to manage prospective situations. Self-efficacy relates to a person’s perception of their ability to reach a goal. Bandura (1997) stated, self-efficacy is a motivational factor that is a content specific evaluation of the capability to successfully complete a task, and is formed through mastery experiences, vicarious experiences, social/verbal persuasion, and interpretation of physiological and emotional outcomes. Job-embedded: Professional development trainings should be intensive, ongoing, and connected to the teaching and learning of academic content. The choices for trainings should also be connected to school initiatives and build strong working relationships among the teachers (National Staff Development Council, 2009). Job- embedded training promotes efficacy and collaboration.

16 Need of Improvement: Schools that miss AYP for 2 consecutive years in all grade spans in either math or language arts are identified as Need of Improvement. [NCLB, (2001), Section 1116 (8)]. Professional Development: As defined by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act[NCLB (2001), Section 1116], professional development activities should improve and increase academic knowledge; be an integral part of the school improvement plan; and provide the knowledge and skills to formulate opportunities for students to meet challenging academic standards. Teacher Efficacy: Defined as teachers’ beliefs in their abilities to organize and execute courses of action necessary to bring about desired results (Hoy, Tschannen- Moran, & Woolfolk Hoy, 1998). A sense of efficacy influences thoughts and feelings, choice of activities, the amount of effort expended with students, and the extent of persistence shown in a challenge. Assumptions Assumptions were made that teachers and administrators in this study did represent staffs of other Title I schools in this district as well as a representation of Title I schools in large urban districts across the country. Title I schools assumed responsibilities as outlined in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of which the NCLB (2001) mandates including professional development guidelines are presented. Assumptions were made that teachers did participate in a variety of professional training activities that were aligned with the school improvement plans of each site and that the school included opportunities for collaboration, support, and self development of the teachers. Data

Full document contains 128 pages
Abstract: A problem exists in the U.S. education system regarding the efforts to refine professional development and gain a deeper understanding of content knowledge to impact teachers' abilities to meet students' needs. Many teachers have not had the professional development opportunities that support the improvement of teaching skills and knowledge. The purpose of study was to examine the relationship of professional development to teacher and collaborative efficacy. The perceptions of Title I middle school teachers facing No Child Left Behind (NCLB) school reform were interpreted through the collected data. Theoretical foundations focused on Bandura's social cognitive theory, adult learning, and transformational change theory. A descriptive mixed method concurrent nested design was used with the independent variable being professional development and the dependent variable being levels of teacher efficacy and perceived collaboration efforts in professional development venues. Quantitative and qualitative data were derived from responses to an adapted Professional Development Survey Questionnaire administered one time to a convenience sample of teacher participants. Qualitative data included development agendas, site monitoring and school improvement reports. Pearson correlation and ANOVA were used to analyze the quantitative data and qualitative data were content analyzed concurrently. Findings included teacher self-efficacy being strengthened by professional development collaborative activities and that participants related these professional development experiences to increased student outcomes. The positive social change implications included opportunity for research based policy changes that impact professional development for teachers to aid in their endeavors to raise achievement levels and to meet NCLB mandates.