The purpose of this study is to explore the effect of professional development on teachers' Lesson Planning, Class Management, Teaching Methods, Cooperation and Teaching Tools. The sample is taken from a government school in the rural area of Abu Dhabi in United Arab Emirates.
Quantitative Research Hypotheses
The hypotheses for the model study are as follows:
1. There is no significant correlation between the teachers' planning and preparation for a lesson and professional development.
2. There is no significant correlation between the teachers' maintenance of proper grip on the subject and professional development.
3. There is no significant correlation between teachers' fulfillment of syllabi's, level's, and school's objectives and professional training.
4. There is a positive correlation between teachers' use of references and professional training.
5. There is a positive correlation between the knowledge and application of teaching methodologies and pedagogies and the teachers' professional development
6. There is a positive correlation between teachers' classroom management and teachers' professional development training.
7. There is a positive correlation between teachers' cooperation and teachers' professional development training.
8. There is a significant correlation between professional development training and teacher's use of educational tools.
Research variables and terms:
Independent Variable: It is the professional development training which is defined in this study as "the knowledge that teachers get from participating in a professional training program delivered on par with coaching and mentoring by an educational training company in schools as part of the educational reformation.
"The dependent variable is the response or the criterion variable that is presumed to be caused by or influenced by the independent treatment conditions and any other independent variable" (Creswell, 2009, p.157)
In this research the dependent variable is the teachers' performance regarding five major areas
1- Lesson planning
2- Class management
3- Teaching methods
5- Teaching tools
As for the extraneous variables, which might be "setting a departmental vision, teachers' motivation, time of the study, age of participants, teachers own readings and others". The researcher tries to have little control over that by chatting with the teachers to know whether it's the professional development which mainly led to a slight progress "if there will be any" or whether it's a huge extraneous variable that the researcher didn't take into consideration.
The term "lesson planning" stands for
1- Planning and preparing a lesson showing knowledge
2- Maintaining proper grip on the subject
3- Fulfilling syllabi's level's and school's objectives
4- Preparing a list of references
The term "Teaching methods" stands for:
1- Choosing modern teaching methods that suits all learning abilities in a classroom
2- Diversifying teaching methods
3- Using suitable language for all students
4- Using most attractive methods to encourage all students participate in classroom.
The term "teaching tools" stands for:
1- Using teaching tools in an effective way.
2- Using teaching tools that help in designing more effective lessons
3- Designing suitable teaching tools
4- Diversifying teaching tools.
The term "Class management" stands for:
1- Creating discipline rules that help control the classroomeffectively.
2- Maintaining control over the classroom.
3- Explaining main rules that are to be implemented in classroom
4- Organizing chairs and black board for an easy management of the classroom.
The term "Cooperation" stands for:
1- Offering help to students in a classroom.
2- Creating an interactive and cooperative environment inside the classroom.
3- Offering professional help to teachers inside the classroom.
4- Following disciplinary bylaws.
Type of research design
Thus, the research will be conducted using the quantitative method approach. In this study, the teachers will be tested to measure their performance on a certain scale. Then, the teacher go through a stage where extensive professional development training is given to them in line with mentoring and coaching of the advisors to ensure the understanding of the teachers and their application of whatever updates and ideas are presented during the professional development training.
After three months, the researcher is going to give the Teacher Advisors the same form and will ask them to test the teachers' performance again using the same scale that has been used at the beginning of the year.
The quantitative methods will be based on the correlational design because the purpose of this study is to determine the whether, and to what degree, a relationship exists between teacher's professional development and teachers' performance. "The correlation coefficient determines the degree and the direction of the relationship between the research variables" (Midraj, S., Midraj, J., O' Neill, Sellami, 2008, p.47)
After the data is collected, the researcher will conduct informal conversations with the teachers to ensure that the results of the quantitative tests are not affected by a huge extraneous variable that hasn't been taken into consideration and that whatever change in teachers' performance whether negatively or positively, is the result of the correlation between teachers' performance and their professional development training. Thus, the researcher is going to have informal conversations with ten randomly chosen teachers from the school.
The researcher might get responses that will bring into the research field more questions of inquiry for future researchers.
The researcher will use SPSS to calculate the level of correlation between professional development and teachers' performance as well. When I compare two variables, I'll use the t-test and when I compare more than two, I'll use the ANOVA.
Data analyzed will be compared to add to the conclusion and the results of the research.
Sampling procedures and rationale:
The researcher used simple random sampling in this research. I will choose the teachers randomly so that each and every teacher has the same chance of being represented in this research.
"If a researcher needs a minimum of 30 participants for his or her experimental design and expects that 75 percent will complete the study, the researcher divides 30 by .75 and the number of participants he or she should start with is 40. Also, researchers need to be aware that the appropriate sample sizes for other types of quantitative research varies (Midraj, J., & Midraj, S. ,2007, p.5).
I need a minimum of 21 participants for my quantitative part, and I expect 75 percent to complete the study simply because of " teachers' turnover, relocating teachers in Abu Dhabi, and other factors", then, what I will have to examine are twenty eight. Teachers who are supposed to be given the test are teachers of English, Mathematics, Humanities, Arabic and Sciences.
I will pay random visits to observe classes that have been already observed by other subject advisors for consistency.
The researcher will be using an instrument that was developed by Ziad Al Shammari and Thomas Yawkey to address the evaluation of teachers' performance in Kuwait. The fact that that instrument is used in another Gulf country made it easier for me to use the instrument as is and without any further amendment or translation. The instrument is called "Classroom Teachers' Performance Based Evaluation Form (CTBEF).This instrument basically measures five domains and each domain is divided into four sub domains that clearly describe measurable teachers' knowledge and performance which is graded on a 5 grades scale. The tables below describe the scales and the domains:
The instrument was validated and shown to be reliable after Dr. Ziad and Dr. Thomas conducted two researches to examine the instruments' reliability and validity.
Their first research was "Classroom Teachers' Performance-Based Evaluation Form for Public Schools in The State of Kuwait: A Framework", it was a qualitative study that focused on testing out design domains and criteria evaluating teachers' performance in classroom settings.
Quantitative data Collection and analysis:
The Subject Teacher advisors assigned by STARS are going to observe the 40 teachers and test their performance at the beginning of the Academic year (December). For validity purposes, and to avoid subjectivity, Subject Teacher Advisors who are going to test teachers at the beginning of the year are not the same Subject Teacher Advisors who are going to test them after three months.
The tests are quantitative and give quantitative data about the teachers' performance. The Subject Teacher Advisors will test the teachers' performance using the (PBTEF) evaluation framework, and the researcher will collect the results, and prepare the mean, range and standard deviation.
The teachers will be post tested using the same (PBTEF) after three months to determine the level of improvement if the results prove that there is any. The researcher will collect the results and start coding to avoid errors, to keep the participants' names anonymous, and for feasibility and accuracy reason when showing the data to other people to answer questions. Then, the researcher will find the mean, median, range and standard deviation. Then, SPSS will be used to determine the level of correlation between professional development "Lesson planning, class management, teaching methods, cooperation, and teaching tools" (predictor variable) and teachers' performance(criterion variable). If it's +.95 it is a strong positive correlation, if it's +.50 it is a moderate positive correlation, if it is +.20 it is a low positive correlation, if it's -.26 it is a low negative correlation, if it's -.49 it is a moderate negative correlation, if it's -.95 it is a strong negative correlation.
The researcher will find the correlation coefficient which identifies the size and direction of a relationship and which ranges from 0.00 - 1.00 in either positive direction or in the negative one. In order to interpret the strength of correlation, I would collect it and then if it's less than .35 it is a low correlation, if it's between .36 and .65 it is a moderate correlation, if it's above .66 is a high correlation.
After that, I decide whether the correlation represents a true relationship and I determine the standard error.