Joan McCollom

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Jeris, Laurel

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Teachers--Training of--Illinois--Attitudes


The purpose of this study was to discover how classroom teachers viewed their continuing professional development (CPD), to explore what factors influenced the decisions they made when they planned their CPD activities, and to examine how these CPD activities advanced their knowledge and skills. How teachers conceptualize and why they participate in CPD has become extremely important because there are fewer experienced teachers remaining in the classroom to impart their knowledge to younger, less experienced teachers. Continuing professional development not only fills knowledge gaps for newer teachers, it also updates practice and encourages teacher retention. This study used a qualitative approach whereby 18 tenured classroom teachers selected from a mid-sized school district were interviewed. The five major themes that emerged from the analysis of the data were: study participants selected most CPD activities because they perceived them to be activities that helped them help their students; teachers’ life/work stages influenced the types of CPD activities selected; CPD activities actually attended by teachers were selected from other worthwhile opportunities for particular situational, institutional, and social reasons; CPD was influenced by the value that the teachers placed on collaboration and relationships with colleagues; and most teachers did not select CPD activities because of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation or school improvement plans. The analysis of the data brought about the development of the Professional Development Practice-Based Participation Model for Teachers (3Ps Model). This decision model encompasses all five themes (What’s Good for Kids, W hat’s Good for Teachers: Stage Over Age, What’s Good for Teachers: Why Participate, Collegiality, and Kids Over Legislation), identifies participation indicators and barriers that influence teachers’ selections of CPD activities, notes outcomes of attendance at CPD activities, and recognizes the influence of NCLB requirements on district CPD priorities. Results support the need to renew interest in participation research directed toward more diverse populations in specific professions that will apply to both formal and nonformal educational settings. Further research is needed to refine the 3Ps Model, build new models and theories, and continue to explore the linkages among CPD practices, participation in CPD, teacher learning, and adult development.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [172]-180).


viii, 198 pages




Northern Illinois University

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