Assessing the Impact on Classroom Teaching From a Sustained Professional Development Program: Perceptions of Teachers Participating in the Yearlong Wayne Schools Global Geography Project




Thomas-Brown, Karen

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The Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education


Social studies content knowledge and pedagogical skills influence decisions that teachers make when faced with delivering various topics to students. This research reports on outcomes and perceptions of teachers participating in a yearlong professional development (PD) program, the Wayne Schools Global Geography Project (WSGG-project) that focused on improving teaching quality by offering over 100 hours of PD training to in-service social studies teachers. The core social studies content for this project encompassed Eastern and Western Hemisphere Studies, Contemporary Global Issues, Global Issues, and an introduction to Era 7-Global Crisis and Achievement 1900-1945. The project targeted 6th, 7th, and 9th grades social studies teachers from the Wayne County Detroit Metro area, and used constructivist learning as the primary pedagogy pivot. The outcome of this project resulted in significant improvements in teachers' levels of social studies content knowledge, as well as a shift in how they planned to teach social studies. Additionally, teacher participants evolved into a Collaborative Community of Professional Teachers (CCPT) and teacher researchers, as they examined, theorized and reported on their perceptions of how the project impacted their classroom practices.



geography, content knowledge, pedagogy, classroom practices, professional development, extended professional development programs


Thomas-Brown, K. (2016). Assessing the impact on classroom teaching from a sustained professional development program: Perceptions of teachers participating in the yearlong Wayne Schools Global Geography Project. Research in Geographic Education, 18(2), pp. 60-85.


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