Job-Embedded Professional Development: Integrating Development Spelling Theory into Teacher Practice

Baynum, Anna Barton, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Abouzeid, Mary, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Austin, Ottilie, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Gansneder, Bruce, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Invernizzi, Marcia, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

In recent years, there has been a vast interest in examining and measuring the effects of professional development. Investigators have increasingly focused on specific changes in teacher participants' knowledge, skills, attitudes, and beliefs. Professional development must initially have a positive impact on participating teachers in order to improve student learning. This study addresses developmental spelling theory and the need to transfer this research into classrooms of today through job-embedded professional development. In order to support reflective practice in spelling instruction, it is imperative that professional development experiences emphasize that orthographic knowledge propels proficient reading and writing skills. In this study, kindergarten through fifth grade teachers were surveyed to investigate the association between participation in mandated graduate level courses, their perceived spelling instructional practices, and perceptions of professional development support. Descriptive statistics were used to examine school demographic variables, teachers' abilities to identify stages of word knowledge and determine appropriate instruction along with reported student achievement. Correlations between teacher practice and the district's professional development initiative, school demographic variables and the integration of Word Study as well as students' literacy achievement and reported instructional practice were considered. The results of this survey indicate that the course content, the way the professional development experience was conducted and the contextual relevance of the course to teachers' instructional situations were associated with the integration of developmental spelling theory into practice and the perceived improvement in students' literacy achievement. McGuffey Reading Center Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education Curry School of Education University of Virginia Charlottesville, Virginia APPROVAL OF THE DISSERTATION This dissertation, lob-Embedded Professional Development: Integrating Developmental Spelling Theory into Teacher Practice has been approved by the Graduate Faculty of the Curry School of Education in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Education. Dr. Ottilie Austiii' Dr.

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PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
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