Statistical Analysis of Professional Learning Activities

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A statistical analysis of Professional Learning Activities in Context: A Statewide Survey of Middle School Mathematics Teachers By: Motoko Akiba
I chose to look at a study that questioned the state-level professional development that is offered for middle school mathematics teachers in Missouri. This particular study surveyed teachers and collected data comparing the types of classrooms they taught in and the specific professional development activities they participated in. Teachers are an often overlooked group with regards to research in education. I chose to look at this article and the research it discussed because of the impact professional development has on students. This study had two closely related questions it was collecting data for: 1) What professional learning activities do middle school math teachers participate in and how much time do they spend in these activities? and 2)How are teacher qualifications and contextual characteristics associated with the amount of their professional learning activities? The study used mathematics teachers in Missouri who worked in Title I or non-Title I schools to diversify the sample. The study defined “personal learning activities” as intentional activities to gain new knowledge about teaching and student learning (Akiba, 2012). The article noted that although professional learning could influence cognitive changes in teachers’ knowledge and beliefs, such learning is not guaranteed solely by participation in those activities.
The researchers decided to include both formal and informal means of professional development in this study. Previous conceptual and case studies cited in this article documented that teachers engage in various types of learning beyond formal activ...

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...rtunities focused on student thinking and knowledge” (Akiba, 2012).

Works Cited

Akiba, M. (2012) Professional Learning Activities in Context: A Statewide Survey of Middle School Mathematics Teachers. Education Reader, 20 (14), 1-36.
Borko, H. (2004). Professional development and teacher learning: Mapping the terrain. Educational Researcher, 33(8), 3-15.

Little, J. W. (1993). Teachers' professional development in a climate of educational reform. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 15(2), 129-151.

Scribner, J. P. (1999). Professional development: Untangling the influence of work context on teacher learning. Educational Administration Quarterly, 35(2), 238-266.

Smylie, M. A. (1995). Teacher learning in the workplace: Implications for school reform. New paradigms and practices in professional development (p. 2-113). New York: Teachers College Press.
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