A District’s Approach to Support Teacher Agency through Teacher-Led Professional Development

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Skaggs, Cara Clayborne
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Middle Tennessee State University
School districts invest large amounts of time and budgetary costs to provide professional development to support the professional growth of teachers each year. Although districts are providing professional learning that is appropriate in both content and delivery, studies still show teachers do not experience professional learning to support their professional growth. One missing link to the puzzle may be teacher agency. Teachers who have agency take ownership of their learning to meet their goals and to help others also meet their goals. A mixed methods study was utilized to explore how teacher-led professional development provided by a local school district supports the professional growth of teachers with conditions that support teacher agency. The study found the district has conditions in place to support teacher agency but supporting teacher agency does not automatically remove all the challenges associated with professional learning. The results of the study also determined more research is needed to understand and support teacher agency as well as districts must hire leaders who believe in professional learning.
Educational leadership