Towards an Effective Professional Development Model to Deepen History Teachers’ Understanding of Historical Concepts, pp. 6 of 16

Methodology

In order to find out whether the Master Class impacted teacher classroom practice, knowledge and beliefs regarding the PD content, a mixed methods research and triangulated design was used to assess the impact of the PD on the participants. Quantitative data through written questionnaires was first collected and analysed for preliminary patterns or trends that could point towards potential changes in participants’ knowledge, practice and beliefs. These initial findings were subsequently used to inform the design of semi-structured interviews intended to generate qualitative data for the study. Out of the twenty teachers who attended the Master Class, sixteen attended all three sessions. For consistency, data was gathered only from these sixteen participants, all of whom had at least five years of experience teaching history. 70% of the participants were teacher leaders who held formal appointments as Senior Teachers or Lead Teachers; the other 30% comprised Heads of Department and serving teachers with five or more years of teaching experience.

Data collection

In the initial phase of the study, two surveys were administered to find out the impact of the Master Class on participants’ PD experiences. The first survey was administered prior to the start of the first session to uncover teachers’ initial thinking about the PD content, and the second survey was administered at the end of the third session to see if participants’ ideas or beliefs about PD content have changed. Specifically, the surveys comprised a series of statements that pointed to teachers’ self-perception about their knowledge, practice and beliefs regarding the PD content, using a 7-point Likert scale of ‘1 for strongly agree, ‘2 for agree’, ‘3 for somewhat agree’, ‘4 for neutral’, ‘5 for somewhat disagree’, ‘6 for disagree’, and ‘7 for strongly disagree’. Data was analysed quantitatively and preliminary findings were developed.

In the qualitative phase of the research design, two participants (Ms Y and Ms Z) were interviewed using a semi-structured interview format with questions focusing on how the Master Class had impacted their learning regarding the PD content. The interviews were transcribed and data were analysed qualitatively. The emergent themes, sub-themes and categories describing the phenomena were further triangulated with qualitative data taken from the standard feedback form routinely given at the end of any PD workshop conducted by the AST.

Related Teaching Materials

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An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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