AuthorPeterman, Francine Paula.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractMost school reforms require the implementation of policies and procedures; therefore, staff development has flourished as a means to introduce and reinforce required school, classroom, and teacher changes (Shroyer, 1990). The scant and inconclusive research regarding the impact of staff development on teacher change (Fullan, 1985; Griffin, 1983b; Guskey, 1986) has shifted from a focus on institutional factors impacting change to individual characteristics of the teachers involved in implementing change and the complex ecology in which these changes take place (McLaughlin, 1990). Recently, researchers have focused on the differences in teachers' beliefs and those implicit in the design of innovations to be implemented (Au, 1988; Johnston, 1988; Olson, 1980, 1981). Further, evidence exists that a teacher's beliefs can change throughout the staff development process (Richardson, Anders, Tidwell, and Lloyd, in press). These researchers, like Hollingsworth (1989), examined questions about the process of changing (Fullan, 1985); their research agendas focus on how new knowledge is used and how change occurs throughout the staff development process. Similarly, this case study was designed to identify changes in the subject's beliefs after she participated in a particular staff development project and to trace these changes throughout the process. The subject, Debbie, a veteran science teacher, enrolled in an inservice class to develop her questioning skills, to learn about thinking skills, and to implement the Taba Teaching Strategies in her classroom. In this case, changes in Debbie's beliefs were examined by comparing and analyzing the semantic maps of Debbie's responses in structured interviews (Spradley, 1970), including questions based on the Kelly Repertory Grid (Kelly, 1955) and the Heuristic Elicitation Method (Eisenhardt, Shrum, Harding, and Cuthbert, 1988). By reviewing and analyzing field notes, taped class sessions, and interviews with Debbie and other teachers at the site throughout the project, how this change in beliefs was exhibited throughout the process of changing was reconstructed in narrative form. Debbie described her beliefs privately and reconstructed them publically (Fenstermacher and Richardson, 1991) throughout the process of changing, struggling with her what beliefs about how students learn and her how beliefs as she practiced new teaching strategies (Sigel, 1985).
Degree ProgramTeaching and Teacher Education