Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education Systems Improvement Science

Committee Member

Noelle Paufler

Committee Member

Danielle Hall-Sutherland

Committee Member

Britnie Kane

Committee Member

Hans Klar


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of personalized professional development (PPD) on induction teachers’ sense of teacher self-efficacy when employed to address a teacher-identified, student-centered problem of practice using improvement science. Induction teachers’ problem of practice focused on at least one of three areas: instructional strategies, student engagement, and classroom management. The following research questions were examined in this study:

1. What problems (e.g., instructional strategies, student engagement, classroom management) are induction teachers encountering?

2. How does PPD affect teacher self-efficacy?

This study focused on PPD accomplished by means of a job-embedded approach tied to a continuous improvement model through use of a networked improvement community (NIC), the fishbone activity, and the Plan–Do–Study–Act (PDSA) model. Data collected from interviews, field observation notes, and a focus group were analyzed using deductive coding to identify key patterns and themes.

From this study, four themes emerged related to problems that induction teachers encounter and the ways in which PPD affects teacher self-efficacy: (a) planning of effective instructional strategies and teacher self-efficacy, (b) student engagement in learning and teacher self-efficacy, (c) classroom management challenges and teacher self-efficacy, and (d) traditional professional development and teacher self-efficacy.

Prior findings, based on the Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale, suggest that induction teachers encounter problems related to instructional strategies, student engagement, and classroom management. Analysis of data for Research Question 1 revealed that induction teachers encountered problems helping students master letter sounds. They also encountered challenges keeping students engaged and motivated in learning, with some students being uninterested in assignments. Teachers also struggled to teach students how to give one another specific feedback. Finally, teachers struggled with classroom management and with getting students to work independently for extended periods to complete work.

Research Question 2 focused on how PPD affects teacher self-efficacy. Key findings included (1) the perceived benefits of a PPD improvement science intervention, (2) development of teacher self-efficacy to support instructional strategies and student engagement, and (3) a lack of development of teacher self-efficacy related to classroom management. Data from this study show that use of improvement science helped teachers increase their self-efficacy when addressing a teacher-identified, student-centered problem of practice.

Teachers saw value in discussing problems of practice and strategies for addressing each problem within the NIC. Participants also noted that traditional professional development (PD) often misses the mark when addressing problems of practice that are relevant to induction teachers, with PD frequently too generic. Implications for practice and policy, along with recommendations for future research—such as strategies for addressing the issues induction teachers face—are provided based on the findings of this study.



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