Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, Ed.D.



First Advisor

Nicole Ralston

LC Subjects

Career development--Research; Teaching--Study and teaching; Teaching--Training of; Education, Secondary; High school teachers


There is not a single professional learning and development (PLD) model that is effective for all educators. Student and teacher needs vary from classroom to classroom, and it is essential to consider all these needs when creating a PLD plan. This study examined the extent to which educators perceive action research as having the capacity to facilitate engagement in Teaching Quality Standard (TQS) Competency 2, or engagement in “career-long professional learning and ongoing critical reflection to improve teaching and learning” (Alberta Education, 2018c, p. 4). More specifically, this study sought to understand teacher perceptions of the process of planning, executing, and evaluating a research-based process within their practice. This mixed-methods study contributed to the body of knowledge around PLD and action research through observations (n = 25), surveys (n = 38), and interviews (n = 6). The importance of this study is the high school educators’ (teachers, counsellors, and administrators) perspectives and experiences about the supports, the challenges, and how responsive action research was to TQS Competency 2.

This study led to important findings regarding action research as a potential model. A teacher leader implemented the action research model, and over 23 hours and 40 minutes were allotted for educators to work on their action research projects. The key findings of this study are: (a) action research must be job- embedded, (b) action research decisions were evidence-informed, (c) the action research process must be an ongoing process supported with time, (d) action research enhances teaching practices, and (e) collaboration supports action research. Finally, action research can be an effective and potential PLD model in education.


Copyright for this work is retained by the author.