Teacher Development During Advanced Master's Coursework and Impact on Their Learning 1 Year Later
Research related to professional development opportunities available to physical education teachers is scarce; what is known shows that career-long professional development opportunities are often limited in scope and are sometimes ineffective or inappropriate (Armour, 2010). Meaningful professional development is critical for teachers if they are to become catalysts for student academic success (Haycock, 1998). Three data sources were used to determine nine physical education teachers development during advanced master's coursework and impact on their learning a year later: pre- and post-self-assessments on program outcomes; five sets of prompted reflections; and follow-up interviews gathered 1 year after teachers' completion of the program. The data were analyzed using qualitative research methods, particularly coding and categorizing (Glesne, 1999; Maxwell, 2005). To ensure validity and reliability, researchers used a variety of methods appropriate for qualitative research, including triangulation. Data showed these teachers had a more refined and more specific understanding of content and pedagogical content knowledge and assessment of learning was and remained a low priority. Many teachers indicated barriers that impeded their ability to implement the knowledge learned. The findings from this study indicated that teachers saw themselves as learners; they sought to apply their content and pedagogical content knowledge in such a way that called on them to try new theories and test the results in their schools and classrooms. This study contributes evidence that teachers consider their growth of content and pedagogical content knowledge important and that many effects of coursework, such as empowerment and self-confidence, extend beyond the scope of the program.
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