Abstract/Details

Staff development in the context of the teacher center: An exploratory study of three New York State funded teacher centers


1999 1999

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Abstract (summary)

This case study explored how staff development was conceived, developed, and implemented in the context of three New York State funded teacher centers on Long Island from May, 1997 to April, 1998.

The interview was the primary method of data collection, supplemented by documentary data and informal observations. Key people at each site were interviewed, including teachers, directors, administrators, and union representatives. In addition, a focus group of teachers who had not been individually interviewed was set up at each site to further explore and confirm some of the data.

Undergirding this study was the premise that a teacher center delivers a new form of staff development because (1) a teacher center provides a sense of community and collegiality for teachers, breaking down the walls of isolation that traditionally marginalize the classroom teacher; (2) the programs of a teacher center are intended to respond to the expressed needs of teachers; and (3) a teacher center flattens the hierarchy of the profession by virtue of the structure of the governing body, the policy board which is composed, by legislation, of 51% teachers.

Among the findings were that teachers perceived that the centers as provided a community, a place for them to collaborate on professional issues, and also as provided programs that responded to their needs. There was no evidence of teachers' dissatisfaction over not having total autonomy and control of their own professional development. This was noteworthy given the additional findings that the centers often were caught in a tension between responding to teachers' expressed needs and responding to state and district initiatives. The study found that the hierarchy of the profession was firmly in place and autonomy for professional decision making for teachers depended upon the kindness or will of the administrator or the Board of Education. The study concluded that continual uncertainty of funding annually threatens the survival of centers and the limited half-stake that teachers have in their own professional development.

For staff development in the context of a teacher center to have deeper meaning in the larger context of professional development, teacher centers would have to be given position power in the district. This implies not only restructuring our schools to collapse the hierarchy, but also rethinking the reasons for denying teachers the autonomy.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Adult education;
Continuing education;
Teacher education
Classification
0516: Adult education
0516: Continuing education
0530: Teacher education
Identifier / keyword
Education; New York; Staff development; Teacher centers
Title
Staff development in the context of the teacher center: An exploratory study of three New York State funded teacher centers
Author
Weinstein, Suzanne G.
Number of pages
204
Publication year
1999
Degree date
1999
School code
0086
Source
DAI-A 60/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9780599346949, 0599346949
Advisor
Brieschke, Patricia
University/institution
Hofstra University
University location
United States -- New York
Degree
Ed.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
9933937
ProQuest document ID
304504892
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304504892
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