Robin Potchka


Professional development for teachers is critical. Often, professional development sessions lack essential elements needed to assist in the development of high quality teachers. This study looked at such elements in a model of professional development already in existence. The purpose of this study was to investigate various professional development models in the literature and to gather professional development data relating to the Teaching American History grants in the Lawndale Elementary and Wiseburn School Districts to determine what elements are common to high quality professional development. The importance of this study was to make available to education the critical elements necessary to design, plan, and implement high quality professional development. "If we don't have great teachers, we won't have great students" (Hassel, 1999, p. 2). The study was descriptive in nature. Surveys were given to fifty teachers, fifteen principals, ten scholars, and eighteen coaches from both school districts. Interviews were held with the superintendent of each school district. Individuals selected were involved with the Teaching American History Grant. The surveys and interviews were intended to elicit data regarding the frequency of identified critical elements in the Teaching American History grant as well as prioritizing elements that are essential to high quality professional development. The study concluded with an examination of the critical elements that led to the success of the Teaching American History Grant as well as identifying critical elements that are essential to high quality professional development.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Teachers -- Training of; Elementary school teachers -- Training of; Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Schmieder, June