The Characteristics and Concerns of Adult Basic Education Teachers

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This report grew out of a study of professional development for adult basic education (ABE) teachers. The NCSALL Professional Development Study was conducted between 1998 and 2000, with the goal of understanding how ABE teachers change as a result of participating in professional development and what factors influence that change. During the course of that study, which involved 106 ABE teachers from three New England states, we collected information about the background, programs, and work experiences of these teachers. The professional development study found that how teachers change as a result of professional development is influenced by a complex interaction among individual factors (e.g., educational background, motivation, years of experience teaching in the field), professional development factors (e.g., number of hours of professional development attended and quality of the professional development), and program/systemfactors (e.g., teachers’ access to benefits and prep time through their adult education job, and program’s history in addressing learner persistence coupled with teachers’ access to decision-making in the program).


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