Factors contributing to teacher satisfaction in professional development activities

Sandra Kolk, Fordham University


Serious questions have been raised regarding the quality of education America's students are receiving and, consequently, our ability to remain pre-eminent as a nation. Educational practitioners, theorists, and the broader public have scrutinized educational policies and practices. One recommendation has been for enhanced professional development activities for teachers. Various factors lead to satisfaction in professional development activities, and the degree of satisfaction teachers derive from them leads to commitment and change. The study which was conducted assessed the relative value of twenty five variables regarding planning, delivery, and follow-up of professional development activities. A survey questionnaire was administered to the faculties of four small, relatively affluent high schools in Westchester County, New York. The variables were ranked according to importance to the respondents. A secondary purpose was to determine whether gender and age factors made a significant difference in their responses. The variables rated in the top 5% according to importance included: (1) Presenter is knowledgeable about topic. (2) Presenter has an effective delivery style. (3) Teachers are actively involved in the activity. (4) Teachers plan the activity. (5) Activity is linked to teachers' professional goals. The variables rated in the bottom 5% according to importance included: (1) Activity is centered on the art and science of teaching. (2) Classroom observation with feedback from principal is provided. (3) Workshops are held after school. (4) Teachers receive symbolic recognition (certificate, honor roll, newsletter) for participation. (5) Activity is planned by central office personnel. Eight of the variables were found to be statistically significant regarding gender and age. The results of the study are useful to various audiences. Theorists will use the information to validate their tenets. Practitioners will use the information to design, implement, and follow-up professional development activities in ways that will satisfy teachers' needs.

Subject Area

School administration|Teacher education|Adult education|Continuing education

Recommended Citation

Kolk, Sandra, "Factors contributing to teacher satisfaction in professional development activities" (1990). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9109260.