The implementation of a professional development plan to incorporate best practice into the elementary school classroom

Claudia Francine Moore-Hamilton, Fordham University


This study observed, described, and analyzed the implementation of an English Language Arts Program over an 8-year period in 1 inner-city public elementary school within a larger school site. The Concern-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) identified configurations of Best Practice implemented in classrooms and noted the variations of their prescribed components. Ten teachers sharing comparable teaching responsibilities constituted the study sample. The research design utilized participant observation, taped and informal interviews, questionnaires, surveys, and checklists. The significance of the study focused on answering, “What does a Best Practice classroom look like?” and “What are the most appropriate ways to instruct students within these environments and assess their performances?” The purpose of the data was to facilitate appropriate professional development that would support teachers' Best Practice development while minimizing the trauma of the change process and producing an effective CBAM-type tool for ongoing classroom observations. Moreover, interviews and discussions identified successful instructional practices that could be tailored to support student learning objectives and schoolwide success. Findings supporting the current research were identified as themes emerged from triangulated data. These findings supported the implementation of English Language Arts Best Practice in its intended forms. It called for learner-centered professional development and noted the positive impact of administrative stewardship and distributed teacher leadership on developing a school as a learning community. Distributed teacher leadership as determined to facilitate educational efforts and inspire school self-renewal amid the throes of dynamic and inevitable change forces. The sample size and participant-observation format made findings limited. Ongoing, relevant professional development was a determined key component in providing quality instruction. Recommendations for practice included the continuous development of English Language Arts Best Practice and more collaborative time for teachers to reflect on their practices, plan, observe other teachers, and discuss students' work and progress. Suggestions were made for further research and policy development supportive of Best Practice.

Subject Area

Literacy|Reading instruction|Teacher education

Recommended Citation

Moore-Hamilton, Claudia Francine, "The implementation of a professional development plan to incorporate best practice into the elementary school classroom" (2001). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3040401.