Effect Of Professional Development On Teachers

Research Methodology and Methods
Introduction

The purpose of this part of the research is to diagram the exploration technique and the different examination instruments used to gather information on the effect that professional development has on the teachers participating in it. It further explores the strategies picked, the members, and the wellspring of information, the exploration technique and the investigation methodology. In this section, the moral contemplations and dependability and legitimacy of the information gathered will be addressed.

Research Methodology

Cohen, Manion and Morrison (2007) contended that the perspectives of social actuality might be grasped from either the subjective or the target approach. This study embraces the subjective methodology to highlight the "subjective knowledge of people in the formation of the social world" (Cohen et al., 2007) as it focuses on comprehension the exploration point from the instructors' view. Additionally, the information assembled from the exploration members was intensely influenced by their comprehensive expert advancement encounters which gave sensible ground to examine this examination study from the interpretive ideal model.

Bryman, (2008, p. 15) altered the interpretive standard as a view that recognizes "the topic of the social sciences ' individuals and their foundations ' is basically not quite the same as that of the characteristic sciences". Likewise, the interpretive ideal model sets a great emphasis on attention to 'the importance individuals ascribe to their encounters" (Davidson & Tolich, 2003, p. 29). The interpretive standard is suitable for this exploration as it investigates instructors' perspectives of their expert improvement encounters. Nonetheless, one of the reactions of the interpretive standard is absence of unwavering quality (Davidson & Tolich, 2003).

The interpretive ideal model used in this examination study is connected to the qualitative exploration approach. Lankshear and Knobel (2004) contend that the qualitative examination methodology gives generous and definite depiction of the exploration subjects. This is upheld by Ary, Jacobs, Razavieh and Sorenson (2006, p. 450) who contended that "a definitive objective of this sort of study is to depict the perplexing example of what is being concentrated on in sufficient detail, so somebody who has not encountered it can comprehend it"

Caine & Caine (1994, p.21) state that, "process may not be comprehended or measured with the level-headed or trial examination model' this is the reason more qualitative measures are needed. (p. 22). Babbie (2001) backed this articulation by illustrating that the necessity for additional qualitative research in instruction and expressed that through perceptions a breadth and depth of seeing the human experience were better understood. There are examination questions where the broadness and insight of instructive practice inside the classroom setting can't be properly spoken about with the current amounts of quantitative information. Besides, Yin (1989) pointed out that utilizing the qualitative technique as a part of careful investigations as being the favoured system for examination studies managing contemporary phenomena inside a genuine connection.

Recognizing these perspectives, the most fitting system for accepting a study on the effect of expert advancement on educators' practice is to utilize the qualitative approach. Consistent with this, this study was centred in a small school setting with twelve teachers, while utilizing a careful investigation procedure.

Participants and researcher

The researcher in this study was included in the expert advancement programme as a vital member of the school i.e. the principal. In leading the qualitative exploration, Merriam (1991, p. 52) expressed, "the researcher is the essential instrument for information accumulation and investigation". The researcher assumed the double part of a casual member who readied the programme and analysed it. Stoddart (1986) contended that blending in is encouraged by participating in the progressing members' exercises, without demonstrating particular consideration regarding oneself. Being a blended member and specialist outfitted the analyst with an interesting lens to empower him to watch the effect of the programme on educators' practices. The researcher directed casual classroom perceptions and addressed inquiries regarding the examination and the expert advancement programme. The specialist's ordinary routine participation at the school is considered an additional trusting association with the members and in addition was an asset when assembling more true information from them.

This research study was conducted in a small foundation stage and primary school in Dubai. Due to the size of the school, as many teachers as possible were involved in this research study. Therefore, the questionnaires were distributed to all participants who held a teaching position in the school. The participants were twelve female teachers who voluntarily participated in a three-week, professional development workshop, which consisted of training on the following: an IT system (Orange Moon) ) which is used to monitor student's attainment and progress systematically , also Creativity training, training on the Pearson Bug Club programme, Students' assessment and active learning. The objective of this project is to deliver a short and clearly defined programme of work designed to support the school with the implementation of some of the recommendations in its last report from the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau. For the second phase of data collection, it was determined that a verbal interview with two teachers who had completed the questionnaire was the best approach. The list included one foundation stage class teacher and one primary class teacher. All teachers were, female with different experience levels. I chose the teachers to be interviewed based on the subjects they taught which are; Literacy, Maths, Science and Topic. However, due to some unforeseen circumstances, the questionnaires and interviews had to be conducted in a delayed January timeframe rather than the planned December one. The questionnaires were utilised to identify the participants who had indicated their willingness to be interviewed. The equal distribution of this research study to participants across the two levels was aimed at furnishing an initial base for comparison.

Although random sampling and years of experience were chosen in this research,(Patton, 2002) and ( Creswell,2009) encourage this sampling in qualitative research as it ensure the researcher is better able to select cases that hold rich information, which in turn could best examine the research problem.

Tables (1, 2, and 3) show the appropriation of the example as per scholarly capability, then the number of working background years, and the age of the participant. Those twelve educators were survey respondents:

 

Table (1)
The distribution of the sample according to academic qualification

Classification Number Percentage
Diploma
B.A
M.A or higher
Total

Table (2)
The distribution of the sample according to number of working experience years

Classification Number Percentage
1-2 years
3-5 years
6-10 years
Total

 

Table (3)
The distribution of the sample according to age

Classification Number Percentage
Less than 25 years
25-30 years
30-35 years
Total

Second, the sample of the study for the interview consisted of three teachers with percent (25%) who were chosen from the foundation stage and primary class teachers who work in the school to cover different age ranges, different academic qualifications, and different experience levels.

Table (4)

The distribution of the interview sample according to age, qualification, and
Number of working experience years

Participant Age Qualification Experience years
Participant 1.
Participant 2.

 

 

The research study strategy

The use of a case study approach has been adopted in this research as it allows an in-depth investigation of the teachers' views of the impact that professional development programs have had or have on their teaching practice Merriam (1998) guaranteed that a research endeavour is an exploratory enquiry that examines a contemporary phenomenon within a genuine context, particularly when the limits between wonder and setting are not obviously evident which prompts a concentrated, all encompassing depiction and investigation of a solitary case, phenomenon or social unit. Also, Bush, (2002); Stark & Torrance, (2005) contended that a research endeavour approach has the capacity to permit portion investigation and cross examination of a movement utilizing assorted routines and information sources. Yin (2009) backed this articulation by illustrating that "a significant quality of a research endeavour is information gathering and the chance to utilize numerous distinctive sources of evidence' (p. 114 -115). The norm for the detailed analysis methodology prompts "a rich portrayal of a phenomenon to speak to it from the members' point of view" (Stark & Torrance, 2005).

A standout amongst the most sensible attributes of the research endeavour approach which is recognized to be proper to the reason for this exploration study is that it permits the formation of particular limits that are significant to this examination (Merriam, 1998). Then again, a detailed analysis methodology is criticised as needing in thoroughness and furnish little support for experimental generalisation (Yin, 2009).
By utilizing the careful investigation methodology to rule the information assembled from each examination instrument, outlined in this exploration. For the end goal of this exploration study, a mark down to outline the limits by seeking the subject from the view of a group of foundation stage and primary teachers and essential educators.
At the same time, I endeavoured to gather rich information from teachers within the time frame available to me. This is upheld by Yin (2003; 2009) who contended that a solitary research endeavour is conceivable when the researcher proposes to examine a common case, which in this study alludes to teachers' professional development.

Research Method
To plan a fitting examination of the issues related to the information accumulation which ought to be looked into. The crucial step is to highlight the centrality of utilizing the examination inquiries to guide analysts with the sort and measure of the information that needs to be gathered, which in turn will fit the objective of the exploration, (Lankshear and Knobel, 2004).

Qualitative-based exploration, as it concentrates on the subjective angle, has different sorts of information accessible which must be taken in thought, for example; spoken, composed and watched information. Therefore, sorts and measure of the information to be gathered for this study, is assembled as per the exploration questions. In the meantime, my epistemology which formed this is some piece of examination outline had guided me in choosing which data was critical to this exploration study.

I chose to utilise this questionnaire, balanced meetings and classroom perception as the most advantageous examination routines to accumulate data for this study. This choice is upheld by Stark & Torrance, (2005); Yin, (2009) who guaranteed that the most regularly utilised examination strategies for a detailed analysis is meetings, report investigations and perception. Each of the instruments utilised in this examination study has been precisely decided to maximise the measure of significant information gathered inside the restricted time allotment accessible.

Questionnaire

According to the researcher's situation, it was recognised that it would be difficult for him to arrange interview sessions for teachers at a specific time as this research project had to be completed within the set period of time. Verma and Mallick (1999) claimed that a well constructed questionnaire is an economical data collection instrument that has the advantage of providing the answers. In addition, researchers need to consider the function of the research instruments that are used in the data collection process and decide whether the use of questionnaire in a research is to supplement the other instruments used.

I planned to utilize semi-structured questionnaire as the research instrument to gather information of the teachers' perceptions of the impact of professional development on teachers' practices, and then conduct three semi-structured interviews to gain better understanding of the research topic. For the semi-structured questionnaire, I established to use a combination of closed and open-ended questions. There were three sections in the questionnaire. The first section required the respondents to answer a number of questions about their background such as their age and the length of teaching experience. The second section of the questionnaire was closed question about school culture. The third section of the questionnaire included a combination of closed and open-ended questions that were designed to understand the participants' responses on their experiences with the professional development programmes attended and their perceptions of the improvement to their teaching practice as well as the challenges or difficulties that they faced while practicing the new knowledge or skills they gained from the professional development programme.

The closed questions were asked in the second and third section as it made it easier for the participants to complete the questionnaire as they were not expected to write at length (Bryman, 2008). On other hand, asking several open-ended questions in the third section is useful in the event where the answers to these questions are unknown and when rich personal data is examined (Cohen et al., 2007). Moreover, the use of open-ended questions also enabled the respondents to 'write a free account in their own terms, to explain and qualify their responses and avoid the limitations of pre-set categories of response' (Cohen, et al., 2007, p. 321).

Interviews

The researcher's aim was to recognize the meaning of teachers' experiences with instruction, as related to the research. Seidman (1998,p.4) states, 'If a researcher's goal is to understand the meaning people involved in education make of their experience, then interviewing provides a necessary, if not always completely sufficient, avenue of inquiry'. For this reason, I decided to conduct interviews as one method to gain an understanding of the participants' perceptions of changes in their teaching practices. Bryman (2008) claimed that qualitative interviews which are generally semi-structured of longer duration, and conducted one-to-one is the most appropriate for this research as I wanted to get in-depth understanding of the research topic from the teachers' perspective. In addition, Cohen et al, (2007) examined the advantage of using a semi-structured interview as it guarantees sufficient amount of data collected relevant to the research.

The researcher interviewed three teachers to find out more information which was not possible in the questionnaire. The use of the semi-structured interview is very advantageous as the researcher thinks it provides deeper answers, helps in developing ideas as well as helps in showing information that cannot be gained in written form as some teachers are more willing to speak than write on a paper.

The semi- structured interview questions corresponded with the research questions.
Each interview was conducted individually in one day during the school day between 9:00 A.M. and 3:30 P.M. according to the teachers' schedules. The three interviews were audio recorded and each transcribed by the researcher. Each teacher was asked to review the transcription of her interview and this helped to ensure the accuracy of the data.

Observations

The researcher used observations to gather supporting evidence to the teachers' interview and questionnaire response. The evidences focused on the professional development programme that mainly uses the IT system (Orange Moon), Bug Club, Creativity and instructional methods. A classroom observation allows the researchers to observe the teacher's style and skills using a checklist. The checklist shows the teacher's and students' performance inside the classroom.

The researcher's plan is to observe two teachers each observation focus on specific part of PD. The researcher will observe and write a checklist about one teacher from foundation stage whereas the second observation will be on a teacher from primary stage. The researcher will try to observe specific action during the observation to show the impact on teaching practice and the student's interaction. The researcher will record the classroom observation to have the time to analyse the data that have been recorded. To record a classroom observation without been in a classroom makes the teacher more comfortable and provides the researcher with authentic data. The evidence gathered from classroom observation will support what the teachers' response is in the questionnaires and interviews. This classroom observation instrument is presented in Appendices''..

Data Analysis Procedures

The researcher used a variety of procedures to collect data. After completing the project programme, questionnaires were held one month after the PD programme. Face to face interviews were held after one week from the questionnaires. Teachers were given the opportunity to review the transcription of their interviews.

During the thirty minutes of interviews, participants were asked about three areas related to the main research questions: school culture, challenges and difficulties and the impact of PD. After receiving the questionnaires and transcribing the interviews, the researcher coded and analyzed each participant's perspectives. Once the coding and analyses of the data gathered was completed, the researcher began a comparison of data according to participants' perspectives of similarities and differences. Teachers were compared with each other in terms of age and experience.

Two class teachers' lessons were observed via recording which encompassed both video and audio. The intention behind not using this method rather than physically observing them inside the classrooms was to offer the freedom and relaxation when practising teaching. On playback of the recordings a clear link between the activities and or the structural methods inside the classroom with the impact of PD on teachers' practice.

 

Ethical considerations

Participating in this research was completely voluntary for all the participants. Teachers were informed about the purpose of the research as well as dates of questionnaires, interviews and observations. The participants had the right to participate in any of the triangulations instruments or to stop at any time they chose (Appendix'). There was no penalty or any effect on the job in school if any teacher decided not to participate. The two interviewed participants checked the interview transcripts before analysing.

Validity and reliability

For this research study, I chose to use three research instruments; document analysis, questionnaires and one-to-one interviews. In addition to methodological triangulation, this research study also has data source triangulation whereby, the participants interviewed were asked the same questions but responses gathered were varied as they had different views to the questions asked. These varied responses were influenced by the teachers' personal experiences and teaching experience. Data triangulation is believed to be more superior to a single data source or instrument (Cohen et al., 2007).

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