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Professional development for teachers of advanced placement courses

Rebecca Small (Instructional Services, Fairfax County Public Schools, Fairfax, Virginia, USA)
Rebecca A. Thessin (The George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia, USA)
William R. Dardick (The George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia, USA)

Journal of Professional Capital and Community

ISSN: 2056-9548

Article publication date: 21 October 2020

Issue publication date: 22 June 2021




The purpose of this study was to explore how the Advanced Placement Summer Institute (APSI) supported Advanced Placement (AP) teacher's instructional needs considering the expansion of the AP program in recent decades.


A survey including Likert-style and open-ended questions was distributed to participants at one East Coast APSI to gather data, which were analyzed quantitatively. An exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted on the Likert items to identify latent constructs, and two logistic regression (LR) models were run to predict what features of the professional development (PD) improved teacher perception of APSI. Open-ended constructs were analyzed by identifying and describing common themes.


The findings indicated that APSI improved teachers' perceived content knowledge and pedagogy and improved teachers' perceptions of their ability to better support student achievement, but that more focused professional learning was needed in working with academically diverse student learners in AP courses.

Research limitations/implications

This study was limited to analysis of perception of teachers who attended one APSI training site, making it difficult to generalize without repeated measures.


This is the only multidisciplinary study connecting literature on effective PD to an analysis of the effectiveness of APSI for AP teachers.



Small, R., Thessin, R.A. and Dardick, W.R. (2021), "Professional development for teachers of advanced placement courses", Journal of Professional Capital and Community, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 267-280.



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