Teachers and professional reading: a study of reading experience and administrative support across traditional, Paideia, and PDS schools.
The present study explored the perceived level of support teachers experience while pursuing professional reading as part of professional development. In order to do so, a descriptive study was designed to investigate the professional reading of teachers working in nine public schools located in Texas, Tennessee, and North Carolina during the Spring of 2005. There teachers participating in this study worked at elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as at Paideia, professional development schools (PDSs), and non-PDS schools. The Teacher Survey of Professional Reading (TSPR) was created specifically for this study, and is a 38 question instrument designed to gather information regarding reading as part of personal and professional growth, reading as part of professional growth, support for professional reading, reading as part of professional development, and demographic information. Teachers, in general, view professional reading as helping them grow in their profession. While teachers do not have enough time to read as they would like, they find the materials easily understood, applicable, and accessible. In addition, teachers working on Paideia campuses have strong beliefs regarding the use of professional reading as part of staff development, as they were more likely to find that professional reading helps them grow in their profession, and were more likely to find the materials applicable, relevant, and worthwhile to what they teach as compared to teachers working on PDS and non-PDS campuses. A discussion of the findings of practical significance and suggestions for future research are included.