An Analysis of How Building a Collaborative Community of Professional Social Studies Teachers through Targeted Ambient Professional Development Impacts Social Studies Classroom Practices

Karen Thomas-Brown, LaShorage Shaffer, Sharon Werner


This study examined the impact of a yearlong ambient professional development (PD) program-The Wayne Schools Global Geography Project (WSGG-project)-that focused on improving teacher quality through PD and classroom observations for in-service social studies teachers. The project targeted middle and high school social studies teachers and used theory of instruction, theory of teacher change, and constructivist learning as the primary pedagogy pivot. A mixed methods approach was utilized for data collection in the forms of surveys, questionnaires, observations, pre/posttests, and focus groups. Results support the use of intensive, sustained, and content-specific PD to improve teacher content knowledge, pedagogy, and for the development of skills and strategies when teaching social studies. In addition, the formation of a Collaborative Community of Professional Teachers (CCPT) evolved as teachers examined, theorized, and reported on their perceptions of how the project impacted their social studies classroom practices.

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Journal of Education and Training Studies  ISSN 2324-805X (Print)   ISSN 2324-8068 (Online)

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