Balancing fidelity with agency: professional development of highly accomplished teachers

Rebecca Cooper, Jared Carpendale, Amanda K. Berry

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


Highly accomplished teachers (HATs) demonstrate skilled and sophisticated practice, spending less time on classroom management issues and more time engaging student learning. Literature on professional development (PD) often assumes success should be measured by teachers adopting the PD, paying insufficient attention to teacher agency. This study investigated nine HATs who participated in a PD program. We identified a continuum of ways they applied, adapted, and amplified the PD ideas in their contexts. We argue that features of PD models such as linearity and implementation fidelity do not recognize how HATs assert agency. The design, implementation, and evaluation of PD programs need to address how HATs are likely to respond; balancing fidelity with agency.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022
EventAmerican Educational Research Association Annual Meeting 2022 - Virtual/Online, San Diego, United States of America
Duration: 21 Apr 202226 Apr 2022


ConferenceAmerican Educational Research Association Annual Meeting 2022
Abbreviated titleAERA 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
CitySan Diego
Internet address


  • highly accomplished teachers
  • professional learning
  • teacher agency

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