The role of school-based site coordinator in professional development schools: The impact on teacher professionalism

Date of Completion

January 2002


Education, Curriculum and Instruction




Although there exists considerable anecdotal data about Professional Development Schools and the overall impact on both school and university institutions, only limited and fragmented research has been accumulated on the teacher who assumes a leadership role as school-based site coordinator in a Professional Development School (PDS). ^ This study was intended to close the research gap by examining teachers' perceptions and reported dispositions as school-based site coordinators in a PDS and the potential impact on the professionalism of teachers who assume that position. A multiple-site study design using qualitative methods consisted of: (1) interviews with teachers in the role of school-based site coordinator in a PDS; (2) interviews with university PDS network coordinators to document policies and procedures; (3) observation of operations related to teacher participants' role and behaviors; and, (4) document collection and analysis techniques to provide reliability and validity through the triangulation from multiple viewpoints. The overall strategy supported the structured interview of teachers as school-based site coordinators. ^ The investigation utilized qualitative methods to analyze data and emerging themes and patterns. A cross-categorical analysis was undertaken and the process of inductive reasoning was used to make appropriate connections in order to validate the data. A cross-site analysis enabled the researcher to identify the frequency in which emerging themes and patterns occurred. ^ The results of this study indicate that the experiences of teachers as school-based site coordinators in Professional Development Schools have enhanced their professionalism. The study also helped to clarify the substantive contributions that PDS experiences have made to renew the professionalism of teacher colleagues at these PDS sites. Future research efforts should be directed towards other schools, districts, and universities that are seeking collaborations across school and university cultures. An analysis of the findings also suggest that policies and procedures of other Professional Development School partnerships might be reviewed in order to support teachers in this “boundary-spanning” role. ^