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A model for the planning of a school-based staff development program at an urban high school

Anthony J Lori, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This case study provides the data which delineates a plan for a staff development program at the school-site level, allowing for the development of guidelines necessary for the implementation of this plan. Urban high schools face many challenges: continued diminishing budgets impacting on staffing cuts, increased student problems, and reform mandates with inadequate funding. The Department Head, as the curriculum and instructional leader, is at the forefront to provide teaching professionals with access to intensive staff development opportunities. This study describes a staff development planning process as created by one Department Head, that may be utilized by any urban high school without a program in place. The plan involves the collaboration of staff and it is implemented at the school-site. It affords teachers a shared vision with access to pedagogical initiatives accompanied by efforts to ensure a stable and informed staff that can focus on the educational needs of our ever-changing student population. The study is of a descriptive nature. Statistical data gathered in the format of naturalistic inquiry from virtually an entire school staff will indicate what happens when teachers have common goals and utilize a collaborative approach in developing a plan to support fellow practitioners in sharing ideas, cooperating in activities, and assisting one another's intellectual growth. Consensus was established that teachers have a shared vision of the professional activities they want in the planning and design of a staff development program. Most teachers feel they need assistance in upgrading content knowledge and teaching strategies that will support them in working in a collegial fashion to improve teaching and learning focused toward helping all students to achieve high standards of learning and development. Professional development at the school site was strongly preferred as compared to past, singular activities outside of the school building. Teachers want substantial time and resources on a continuum in activities that are job-embedded and reflect the School's philosophy and vision. The results of this case study offer strategies that can be used by high school administrators at the school-site level planning and implementation of a staff development program.

Subject Area

School administration|Secondary education|Teacher education

Recommended Citation

Lori, Anthony J, "A model for the planning of a school-based staff development program at an urban high school" (1997). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9721472.