Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Linell Monson-Lasswell

Second Advisor

Elizabeth Minor


The purpose of this research was evaluate the program of teacher professional learning at Hamlin Middle School to guide formative improvement, therefore maximizing the potential of increasing teacher effectiveness and results. By facilitating evaluative thinking among teachers on the topic of teacher professional learning, the goal was to change how teachers conceptualize teacher professional learning. The discussion of professional learning was based on the Modes of Learning Framework (HarvardX, 2014), which organizes learning along two continua: hierarchical-distributed and individual-collective. Methodology included a survey on teachers’ perceptions on the modes of learning, and focus group discussions in which participants interpreted survey data. Findings suggested that teachers perceive the purpose of professional learning to be hierarchical in nature, and view decisions about professional learning to be primarily a district responsibility. There was also a perceived lack of personal responsibility for joining networks for professional learning. Data revealed teachers’ perceptions about effective forms of hierarchical learning, as well as negative reactions to district-led professional learning. Finally, teachers showed preferences preferences for collective learning structures. The paper concludes with the recommendations on how to a) build trust, b) provide follow-up, c) value individual distributed modes of professional learning, d) invest in collective learning experiences.