Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Johnson, Donald R., 1941-

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Middle school teachers--Education (Continuing education)--Illinois; Middle school teachers--Illinois--Attitudes; Middle school principals--Illinois--Attitudes; Middle schools--Illinois--Planning; Middle schools--Illinois--Administration


The purpose of this study was to examine the administrator's role to connect professional development with the district's strategic plan for best teaching practices and student learning. Just as teachers need to differentiate instruction to meet the various learning styles of students, administrators need to differentiate and change the way professional development is structured. Like students, teachers are at different levels and have different interests, abilities, and levels of expertise. This study is significant in that it advances the current research in professional development by establishing the administrators' and teachers' perceptions of professional development; their individual and collaborative role of day-to-day, ongoing professional development; and an administrative design for changing and implementing professional development initiatives to empower teachers and focus on student learning. The findings of this study indicate that building administrators, central office administrators, and teachers substantiated that professional development needs to align to the district's strategic plan on most survey items. Survey respondents, particularly building administrators and central office administrators, said they believe that professional development should be aligned to the district's strategic plan and should provide opportunities for teachers to implement best practices and teaching strategies in their classrooms. The following characteristics were associated with professional development aligning to the strategic plan: teachers interacting with colleagues, principals demonstrating instructional leadership, and goals of the strategic plan reflecting a school-wide effort and vision for student achievement. In responses where this connection between professional development and the strategic plan was not prominent, the study showed that professional development was piecemeal. The administrator's role to align professional development opportunities with the district's strategic plan is critical to facilitate change in teaching strategies and practices to increase student achievement.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [112]-117)


viii, 150 pages




Northern Illinois University

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