Title

Connecting Instruction, Professional Development and Student Achievement: Partnering for Change

Location

Harborside Center East and West

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Family & Community

Relevance

This proposed presentation provides an overview of a study that explored teachers' "instructional behaviors" and their impact on student outcomes. The study was designed and executed within a partnership context. The partnership framework that was developed over several years and multiple projects will be shared along with a model for conducting district wide needs assessments and tailoring professional development series to meet teachers' specific needs. These components directly address Academic Achievement & School Leadership as well as Family and Community.

Brief Program Description

Findings of a partnership initiative designed to improve outcomes of students at-risk by supporting and enhancing instruction and management will be presented. A review of the partnership development process, the procedures used to collect and analyze data, and the development of the implementation plan will be shared along with related students outcomes.

Summary

Local education agencies are faced with compounding issues that strongly impact student performance. The proposed presentation is focused on identifying ways to support teachers of students at-risk. School based research partnership initiatives that explored the intersection of teacher instructional behaviors, prescriptive professional development, and student academic and behavioral outcomes will be presented. This research is timely because increased attention must be given to effective partnership development and maintenance in educational contexts, which support educators who serve students at-risk (Alabama State Department of Education, 2011; Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Service, Department of Education, 2008). Graduation rates, dropout rates, and academic achievement statistics of students whom are at-risk strongly indicate that there are substantial problems with the current implementation of instructional practices and professional development structures (Joyce & Calhoun, 2010; American Youth Policy Forum and Center on Education Policy, 2001). Thus, the efforts of this partnership team focused on designing partnership development and tailored professional development models, which addressed instructional behavior, teacher preparation, and student academic and behavioral outcomes (American Youth Policy Forum and Center on Education Policy, 2001; Casey, Bicard, Bicard, and Cooley-Nichols, 2008; Marzano, 2003). The researchers will share needs assessment data, instructional observation data, prescriptive professional development design and delivery, and related student outcomes. Ultimately, the purpose of the proposed session is to provide attendees with a framework for successful partnership development and an example of an effective partnership including descriptions of the process and student outcomes.

Evidence

Qualitative methodologies were used to discover the partnership development codes, categories, and relationships. Partnership member journals, focus group meeting transcripts/recordings, and emails, meeting minutes, and other documentation were categorized and coded for theme identification. The intersection of themes and subthemes will be illustrated. In addition, partner voice will be represented across organizations and levels. A detailed description of each entities’ level of participation, bumps in the road, problem solving techniques and year one outcomes will also be shared. A visual timeline will be included that consists of benchmarks for instructional and managerial development as well as partnership development milestones. Completion of instrument design and validation, pre-observations and prioritization of findings will be incorporated into the description of the partnership development process. Any issues and celebrations surrounding these benchmarks will also be incorporated into the narrative.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Sandra Nichols is an Associate Professor of special education who joined the faculty at the University of Alabama in 2010 as Head and associate professor of the Special Education and Multiple Abilities Department. Throughout her career, she has held various administrative positions and received several leadership awards. Dr. Nichols has partnered with several southeastern school districts to focus on partnership development, professional development and systems change in educational settings.

Dr. Nichols received her Ph.D. in Special Education and B.S. in Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi and M.S. from the University of Memphis in Rehabilitation Counseling.

Ms. Adriane Sheffield is a graduate assistant and doctoral student at The University of Alabama. She has more than10 years of experience as an elementary classroom teacher. Ms. Sheffield has an undergraduate degree in early childhood and early childhood special education from Vanderbilt University. She also earned two masters degrees from Vanderbilt University. Ms. Sheffield is currently enrolled in the Educational Psychology doctorate of philosophy program.

Keyword Descriptors

Partnership Development, Instruction, Student Outcomes, Professional Development

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

3-3-2015 5:30 PM

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Mar 3rd, 4:00 PM Mar 3rd, 5:30 PM

Connecting Instruction, Professional Development and Student Achievement: Partnering for Change

Harborside Center East and West

Findings of a partnership initiative designed to improve outcomes of students at-risk by supporting and enhancing instruction and management will be presented. A review of the partnership development process, the procedures used to collect and analyze data, and the development of the implementation plan will be shared along with related students outcomes.