Date of Graduation
The purpose of this study was to provide an in-depth examination of the personal stories of classroom teachers who have been directly involved in the process of developing and continuing a professional development school, (PDS) model. The study also allowed for a retrospective examination of the changes in a PDS partnership overtime, as perceived by classroom teachers. Study objectives included: examining the development process and the lessons learned regarding forming PDS partnerships, considering teachers as leaders within the PDS partnership, and looking back at the significance of the partnership in the context of today. The context for this study centered on the original schools to join the professional development school collaborative (PDS Collaborative) in a mid-Atlantic, land-grant university in a small city with rural surroundings. Ten classroom teachers, representing the original five PDS sites in the PDS Collaborative, were selected using judgment sampling. Participants were questioned using interpersonal oral history interviews. Data was then transcribed and analysis was conducted using a three phase model. Data in this study was triangulated by data source, through member checking, and with researcher journaling. Data analysis resulted in the identification of five areas of importance when examining PDS relationships: educational climate, site-based educational practices, teacher education, teacher change, and PDS development. Critical findings included: (1) The importance of teacher participation and decision-making when conducting site-based school reforms. (2) The impact of school climate, faculty, and administration on the success of PDS partnerships and site-based reforms. (3) The critical elements of the relationships between the university and the PDS sites. (4) The ways in which PDS initiatives empowered classroom teachers and influenced their self-concepts. (5) The roles of classroom teachers in teacher preparation. (6) The roles of funding, program change, and renewal efforts in building and sustaining PDS relationships. (7) The ability of PDS partnerships to enact change in school culture.
Milleson, Emily Kate, "Oral history exploration of teacher decision -making and empowerment within the formation of professional development schools." (2009). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 9429.