Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation

12-2010

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed. D.

Department (Legacy)

Department of Education, Leadership and Human Resource Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, EDD

Committee Chair

Tretter, Thomas

Committee Member

Sullivan, Molly

Committee Member

Hockbein, Craig

Committee Member

Howell, Penny

Committee Member

Ronau, Robert

Abstract

The Oldham County Learning Institute (OCLI), a 3-day professional development experience for teachers, was provided during four sessions spanning two school years. The OCLI training focused on three interrelated strands: thinking strategies – what to do, gradual release of responsibility – how to do it, and building a classroom community of learners – in what context. This study investigated the impact of OCLI on teachers’ instructional practices with regard to implementation of the three strands. Participants were exposed to seven research-based thinking strategies: a) monitoring for meaning, b) determining importance, c) inferring, d) activating background knowledge, e) visualizing, f) questioning, and g) synthesizing. OCLI participants also observed highly skilled teachers actively model the use of thinking strategies and the gradual release of responsibility approach in established classroom community environments. This mixed methodology study included 133 middle and high school teachers. Data were collected on pre- and post-surveys that gathered self-ratings of participating teachers’ implementation of the three OCLI strands. Additional data sources included classroom observations, interviews with building principals, and OCLI evaluations. The results of the data analyses substantiated that OCLI had a significant impact on teachers’ instructional practices with regard to implementation of all three OCLI strands.

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