Faculty Publications


ERIC Document - ED393829 found in the ERIC Database

Document Type



Constructivism (Learning); Curriculum Development; Educational Objectives; Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education; Knowledge Base for Teaching; Masters Programs; Professional Development; State Surveys; Teacher Attitudes; Teacher Improvement; Teaching Experience; Theory Practice Relationship


A constructivist practitioner's masters program in professional development (PDMA) was designed and piloted at the University of Northern Iowa. The program provides an option for pursuing a master's in education structured upon the following constructivism-focused framework of components: (1) the program is designed for experienced educators; and all coursework is applicable to the classroom; (2) classrooms serve as field-based learning laboratories; (3) students progress through the program in cohort groups; (4) professors collaborate in teaching teams to deliver an articulated curriculum; (5) electives; seminars; and practice foster individualization within a community of learners; (6) exit outcomes reflect the linkage of theory to practice; (7) three strands are conducted within a context of inquiry and reflection; initiated early in the program--talent development; managing/monitoring student learning; and community; (8) time commitments are pre-established to assist in planning; and (9) inquiry; reflection; and authentic assessment are crucial. A statewide survey was conducted among a random sample of urban; suburban; and rural schools; 100 surveys (59 percent) were returned. The study resulted in several observations related to master's study for educators. Among these observations were: the overriding goal must be to shape the knowledge base applied in practice; theoretical constructs taught must be modeled and proactively connected to classroom practice; degree programs are needed that are accessible and affordable for teachers in the initial years of their careers. Because master's study shapes expectations for personal processes of continuous professional development; it is crucial to systemic change at the school or district level. Eight data tables are included. (Contains 20 references.) (ND)


Student Field Experience

Original Publication Date


Object Description

1 PDF file (26 pages)


UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa


©1994 Mary J. Selke



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