Publication Date

Summer 2018

Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Dr. Lisa Murley (Director), Dr. Janet Tassell, and Dr. Antonia Szymanski

Degree Program

School of Teacher Education

Degree Type

Specialist in Education


This paper examines the characteristics of effective professional development (PD). It discusses the change process in a system and how it applies to an educational setting, including teacher practice and student achievement. This study uses a survey, interviews, and student benchmark assessment data to assess the influence of PD on a district. Four main themes surfaced from the research in this study: past experiences mold beliefs and practices, coherence throughout a system clarifies expectations, individualized professional learning leads to authentic change in practice, and professional development influences the entire system.


Teacher Education and Professional Development