A descriptive analysis of the administrative, professional and personal support needs of teachers at consistently low-performing schools in North Carolina
Bethann Buzitsky Fine, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, United States
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill . Awarded
The education culture that revolves around high stakes testing has taken its toll on North Carolina schools. North Carolina high schools that have been identified as consistently low performing based on state and national measures have been inundated with curriculum reform, research and assessment teams, and professional development requirements. Throughout the process of reform movements, the teachers have not been asked what they feel they want and need to be successful teachers in successful schools.
This study explored the perceived wants and needs of teachers at consistently low performing public high schools in North Carolina. The research questions that guided this study included identification of specific demographic factors such as geographic region, race, gender, age, teacher certification level, years of teaching experience or educational degree that affected the reported needs and wants of responding teachers in the areas of administrative support, professional development and professional activities, placement on Teacher Career Cycle, personal/professional characteristics as related to job success and satisfaction.
Teachers at the participating high schools reported the need for specifically defined professional development focused by their reported stage on the Teacher Career Cycle. Highly defined and strategically planned professional development that includes time for practice, reflection and internalization was found as one of the key needs for professional success. Responding teachers also indicated the need for administrative support in and technology funding, support and training.
Continued research with the participating high schools in a case study approach would offer insight into the cultural and systemic issues that affect academic achievement in low performing high schools. When all components of a low performing school are investigated, not just outcome-based testing, supports can be established to provide information to policy makers and leaders who can then create systemic reform plans.
Fine, B.B. A descriptive analysis of the administrative, professional and personal support needs of teachers at consistently low-performing schools in North Carolina. Ph.D. thesis, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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