Naturalistic Observation of Engagement and Disengagement within Professional Development in Education

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Thomas G. Ryan


    The purpose of this naturalistic observation study was to observe, in a natural setting, the actions of attendees at educational professional development conferences. In doing so, it was hoped that numerous behaviors could be observed that would indicate a level or extent of engagement or disengagement within presentations. It was found that the observed sample was often communicating with others or looking around the room while the presentation was unfolding. Fiddling with objects was common since arriving at a presentation takes time to settle. Overall, the audience was mostly distracted and not engaged which would logically diminish the utility of the professional development.

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Author Biography

Thomas G. Ryan, Nipissing University

Professor of Education - Graduate Studies