Analysis of the effect of a professional development paradigm on the implementation of cooperative learning

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Munger, Linda
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James E. Sweeney
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The primary purpose of this qualitative study was to determine if the support structure (i.e., staff development team, study group team, and peer coaching team) of a professional development paradigm enhanced the implementation of a cooperative learning staff development program. The specific purposes were: (1) to determine Levels of Use and Stages of Concern of participating teachers, (2) to determine key elements within the support structure that enhanced implementation, and (3) to identify needs within the support structure to strengthen the impact;Data were triangulated by means of documents, questionnaires, and interviews. Two dimensions of the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) were used in the data analysis. Seventy (96%) teachers (gr. 1-5) of four elementary schools in a suburban Iowa school district completed and returned the 35-item Stages of Concern Questionnaire (SoCQ). Twenty-five of these teachers (gr. 1-5) were interviewed. The interviews focused on the use and effect of the support structure in implementing cooperative learning. The interviews were used to determine the Levels of Use (LoU) of the innovation (i.e., cooperative learning);Research has described the most effective training design includes theory, demonstration, practice, feedback, and coaching. The effective components of the training design that provide effective transfer of training are practice, feedback, and coaching;Major findings of this study include: (1) Sixteen of 25 (64%) were at routine Levels of Use which indicates stable use of cooperative learning. (2) 62% of 69 teachers' concerns moved through the Stages of Self and Task concerns and were at the Impact concerns. (3) Staff development team had the greatest influence on the implementation of cooperative learning. (4) Peer coaching team had the least influence on the implementation of cooperative learning. (5) Needs within the support structure to strengthen the components include: staff development team--provisions for specialists to observe teachers, recognition by administrator for trying, provisions for scheduling time for peer observations; study group team--more time for feedback during meetings, more structure to meetings, diversity in group membership; and peer coaching team--time for peer observations, proximity of coaching partner, length of observation time, and knowledge of what and how to observe.

Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1990