External Professional Development Organization Supports for K-12 School Initiatives: A Leadership Study
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This paper presents initial findings of a qualitative study exploring K-12 leadership approaches that utilize external professional development (PD) support. The pilot study consisted of 19 questions asked in a semi-structured interview. Results of the study indicate that school administrators find a cooperative leadership approach utilizing teacher professional development valuable for the implementation of non-mandated school wide initiatives. The study results confirmed that professional development supports for school initiatives are an integral part of a school initiative implementation plan. Administrators identify key external PD organization supports for an initiative as: provision of “big picture” information for administration, opportunity for staff to participate in PD opportunities and discussions, provide implementation resource materials, and where possible provide ongoing, scaffolded training. The role administrators take on with external PD organizations can be described as a project liaison. Further research on the effectiveness of PD organization support resulting in a change in teacher practice is needed.
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