Graduation Year

2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Secondary Education

Major Professor

Patricia D. Jones, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jennifer Jacobs, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael Sherry, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William Young, Ed.D.

Keywords

community of practice, educator learning, effective professional development, long-term impact, oral history, Tampa Bay Area Writing Project

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to describe and explain participants’ perceptions of Tampa Bay Area Writing Project (TBAWP) influence on professional learning over time. This study explored Writing Project impact on professional learning by accessing the oral histories of three educators who were involved in TBAWP between 1998 and 2004. The research question was:

• In what ways, if any, has long-term involvement in the Tampa Bay Area Writing Project impacted the teaching practice, career growth, and professional learning of participating educators?

This qualitative study employed constructivism as the theoretical framework. Analysis of study data resulted in specific findings. Educators’ stories revealed Writing Project participation significantly impacted their teaching practice, career growth, and professional learning. The lasting impact of Writing Project involvement was seen in the ways in which educators infused the concept of community into their teaching practice, accepted leadership positions within the profession, and ultimately went on to conduct professional learning experiences for educators.

Data analysis generated a conceptual model that examines the lasting impact of educator professional learning. Implications of this finding are significant for longitudinal inquiry of educator professional learning and for impact studies of long-term Writing Project involvement. In addition to providing exemplars of educator stories of practice over time, the study contributed to development of a fuller understanding of effective professional development, educator professional learning, and the lasting impact of Writing Project involvement.

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