An examination of Oregon Writing Project teachers : a qualitative study of professional development experiences Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/1831cn545

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  • This qualitative study examined the influence of the 2011 Oregon Writing Project (OWP) Summer Institute (SI) on the professional development of six teachers in the following ways: 1. The development of case descriptions of teachers' personal and professional backgrounds relevant to their teaching of writing. 2. An examination of the effects of the Summer Institute on participants' self-reported teaching practices, attitudes, and beliefs about the teaching of writing. 3. An examination of participants' perceptions of aspects of the SI program that they deemed 'influential' in their professional development. Data was collected from Summer Institute application materials, written coursework, and follow-up interviews. Using inductive reasoning, systematic analysis of the data resulted in the following findings: 1. Teachers reported a neglect of writing education in their teacher preparation programs, as well as in the professional development programs offered by K-12 schools. 2. Participants tended to report change in their professional and personal practices, attitudes, and beliefs related to writing following the Summer Institute. 3. Participants unanimously identified the characteristics of time and a safe learning environment as significant in their professional development experience. The study suggests the need for more comprehensive inclusion of writing instructional methods in preservice and professional development programs. The study also reinforces pre-existing research that supports professional development models that are designed to be teacher and context-centered within a collaborative community. The present research highlights the need to consider factors of time and participant feelings of "safety" when designing professional development programs. Finally, the study maintains that effective professional development may offer the important teacher learning and confidence needed in K-12 schools
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