Evalutating the Effect of an Online Job-Embedded Professional Development Program on Elementary Teachers' Use of Arts Integrated Approaches to Learning in a South Texas School District
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In the state of Texas, instruction in the arts is required from Kindergarten through eighth grade. In many cases, the responsibility for teaching these subjects falls on the classroom elementary teacher despite limited knowledge, experience, and a low sense of self efficacy. This study examined how an online professional development program affected elementary teachers’ use of arts approaches, the attitudes and issues that have a bearing on the use of arts approaches, and teacher learning that occurred as a result of engaging in an online professional development program. An embedded mixed methods design was used that embedded a qualitative case study within a quantitative study in order to compare and corroborate the quantitative findings. Participants, employed at an elementary campus in South Texas, consisted of seven elementary generalist teachers who participated in an eight week online professional development program and six teachers who volunteered to complete a survey only. The central question, “how does an online job-embedded professional development program affect elementary teachers’ beliefs about and use of arts integrated approaches to learning,” guided the study. Seven sources of both quantitative and qualitative data were collected over a ten week period. Themes that emerged from the qualitative data analysis were student outcomes, teacher-efficacy, and external factors. Findings indicate that (1) online formats are a viable form of professional development, (2) a lack of time to plan most significantly impacts the use of arts approaches, and (3) improved access to rich, arts based lesson resources may increase the use of arts in the classroom. This study was significant because it provided insight into the quality of teacher learning and its impact on classroom practice as the result of online professional development.
Herrera, Karen (2013). Evalutating the Effect of an Online Job-Embedded Professional Development Program on Elementary Teachers' Use of Arts Integrated Approaches to Learning in a South Texas School District. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from