Fischler College of Education: Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Charlene Desir

Committee Member

Lina Chiappone

Abstract

The Use of Reflective Practices in Applying Strategies Learned Through Professional Development in Social Studies Instruction. Montra L. Rogers, 2016: Applied Dissertation, Nova Southeastern University, Abraham S. Fischler College of Education. ERIC Descriptors: Reflective Teaching, Educational Strategies, Professional Development, Theory Practice Relationship, Social Studies. This applied dissertation examined how middle school social studies teachers in a large urban school district in Texas described and documented their process of self-reflection as they integrated instructional strategies learned in professional training into their social studies courses. The study further explored how social studies teachers perceived reflective practice as an element of professional development and how a reflective practice model such as reflective journaling helped middle school teachers document their process of self-reflection as they applied new strategies to their instructional approaches. The researcher explored the teachers’ actions through the concept of organization learning theory, conducted face-to-face interviews, and analyzed documents, observation notes, and journal responses to uncover the processes, practices, and perceptions of middle school social studies teachers. This study’s findings revealed that, to implement strategies learned during professional development training, participants incorporated newly learned practices into their existing practices and routines. These practices or routines included creating resources and sharing and collaborating with peers. In addition, social studies teachers documented their process of integrating the QSSSA (Question, Stem, Signal, Share, Assess) conversation strategy into their instructional approach by planning lessons that facilitated the use of the newly learned strategy, implementing said lesson, and assessing student learning. Finally, the study’s findings confirmed that professional learning experiences that include elements of reflective practices, such as professional learning communities, provided middle school teachers a greater sense of self-efficacy as they worked to integrate the QSSSA conversation strategy into their instructional routines. Furthermore, a reflective practice model such as journaling provided teachers an avenue to consider both their own practice and the individual needs of their students.