Professional Development Plan

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Ph.D. in Education

Educational Technology

Professional Development Plan 

Walden University

August 19, 2009


Part 1: Description of Personal and Professional Goals


            All individuals, irrespective of their station in life, have goals, whether it is obvious or not.  Having worked at the community college and high school levels for 28 years in the capacities of lecturer and classroom teacher respectively, as well as an assistant school administrator, I have seen the need to improve learning among my charges.  The acquisition of knowledge requires transmission, and what best way to do so in the 21st century than by the use of technology.


Professional Goals

            As an educator and a PhD candidate in Education specializing in Educational Technology, my goals will center on Walden University’s Mission Statement of the transformation of oneself as scholar-practitioner, in order to effect a positive social change in society. There are  three main goals that will be emphasized throughout my tenure at Walden, they are

1)      To be a philosopher in the field of technology

2)      To be an outstanding technology educator at the college/university level

3)      To be a writer of books on technology at all reading levels.

 Prior to the confirmation of my degree by Walden University, I would like to gain experience as a Senior College Instructor in the use of technology to enhance learning. I believe that this experience will pave the way to accomplishing my three goals in their  entirety.


Part 2:Description of Educational Background and Research Proficiency




            Milton Beresford Francis! Who is he? What are his credentials? What does he ‘bring to the table’ at Walden?

In starting, I am a 28-year veteran high school teacher who was trained in the teaching of mathematics and the natural sciences at the secondary school level. During those years I have taught mathematics, additional mathematics (pre-calculus), biology, chemistry, and economics. However, mathematics and pre-calculus have been my major emphasis, as those are the two subjects I taught the most.

            During my 28 years as a teacher, I had frequent interruptions advancing my career and at times changing my career. After obtaining my teaching certificate that qualifies me as a teacher in Jamaica, I did an advanced certificate program in the teaching of mathematics, thereby obtaining a Certificate in Education (Cert. Ed.). One year after receiving that certificate, I read for an Undergraduate degree (B Sc.) in management studies. This took me away from the classroom full time to work with the local Chamber of Commerce as a junior manager responsible for this non-profit organization’s Junior Achievement Program (a subsidiary of Junior Achievement Incorporated in the USA). While I was employed in this position for four years, I did part time teaching of mathematics to adults in the evening at an educational institution.

            As if that wasn’t sufficient, I started a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) program, specializing in Public Sector Management, three years after obtaining my bachelors degree. Of this 48-credit program, I received 36 credits, as I had to withdraw due to migration to the United States of America (USA). While living and working (teaching mathematics) in this country, I decided to make another change, and so I pursued a 36-credit program in Instructional Technology thereby receiving a Master of Science (MS) degree with honors distinction.


Academic Coursework

            Throughout my academic development I have pursued many courses in the social and behavioral sciences. As a matter of fact, my entire undergraduate degree (BSc in Mgnt. Stud.) is a social science degree. Some of the courses done in that program of studies include

  • Introduction to Management
  • Introduction to Sociology
  • Introduction to Political Institutions
  • Human Resource Management
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Principles of Marketing
  • International Marketing
  • International Business Management
  • Business Law
  • Industrial Relations
  • Organizational Development
  • Government Business and Society
  • Economic Policy for Managers

The remaining courses in this undergraduate program were of a numerical nature: Mathematics (Calculus), Finance, Statistics, Accounting, Economics, and Production. Also included were technology courses.

            In addition to the undergraduate social and behavioral sciences, the 36 credits that I obtained in the MBA program of studies include

v     Environmental Management and Sustainable Development

v     Behavioral Sciences for Managers

v     Marketing Management

v     Policy Analysis, Policy Formulation and Research Methods

v     Operations and Project Management

v     Strategic Public Sector Management

v     Strategic Human Resource Management in the Public Sector

v     Public Enterprise Management

Like my undergraduate degree, the remaining courses were also of a numerical nature (Finance, Statistics, Accounting, and Economics). In addition, there was the technology course – Management Information System.

         The social and behavioral sciences done during the advanced certification in education program include

·        Educational Psychology

·        Argument in Education

·        The Role of the Teacher in Social Development

Other courses in this program were mathematics content and methods specifics, curriculum, classroom testing and evaluation, and the practicum.

        Finally, my completed master’s degree, Master of Science in Instructional Technology (MSIT), 33.3% of which was done online, also took the social and behavioral sciences in consideration. The courses include

*      Philosophy and Technology

*      Curriculum Design and Development

*      Instructional Application to the Internet

*      Social Studies and Technology

*      Mathematics and Technology

*      Diversity, Learning and Technology

*      Multimedia Authoring

*      Science and Technology

*      Language Arts and Technology

*      The Role of the Computer Coordinator

*      Research Principles and Practice (Theory)

*      Field Project (Practice)


Professional Presentations, Seminars, and Workshops                                                            Apart from my professional presentations in my classrooms daily as a teacher, I have made presentations at seminars and have conducted workshops. My seminar presentations took place when I worked outside of the classroom as a junior manager. One of the role as the Executive Director of the Junior Achievement (JA) Program was to travel around the country (my former homeland) and conduct seminars in towns and villages about the JA Program. It was more of a marketing strategy to high school principals, teachers, and students about the program, with a few of them coming on board. I would say that I was near 100% successful, as most of the schools became a part of the program. In addition to trying to captivate the education audience, I had to conduct workshops for business executives in corporations, as they were expected to be paired with the schools.

However, in recent times, my workshops have not been about business, but about the use of technology in schools by teachers. Being the technology coordinator of my school, I staged workshops on Professional Development (PD) days, and sometimes after school, getting teachers to be partners with technology in education.


Volunteer Activities

            Volunteerism has been the hallmark of many of my successes. While being trained as a high school teacher, I was a member of the college’s Key Club (an affiliate of the Kiwanis Club International). I volunteered in service activities then, like attending to the elderly by giving the men haircut, shaving their beards, giving manicures and pedicures, among other things. While studying for my undergraduate degree, I again became a member of the Key Club and participated in several off campus activities. I volunteered at church by visiting the sick in hospital and encouraging them with cheerful words.     





Prior Experience Designing and Executing Research                          

            My experience in Research Design and Research Execution started during my college training years when I aspired to become a teacher. I had to prepare a Child Development Study in partial fulfillment for my teaching certification. I surveyed students as my main plan before implementing the study. There was no major research done during my undergraduate years, except short papers in individual courses.

            My graduate studies saw me involved with a great deal of research work. The two main ones are in the completed MSIT program and the incomplete MBA program. The former was a research in mathematics (please see the Field Project in the link of the MSIT portfolio in the next sub-heading ), and the latter was a research in educational administration (please see the link below)


Publication and other Writing Experiences                          

            Unfortunately, I have no publications except for my writings posted to the Internet, like the link above and my MSIT portfolio at the link below, using the password ‘gradstudent’


Teaching Assignments

            This is the same as mentioned in my Introduction above. Additionally, I was a vice principal (assistant principal) of a high school in Jamaica before migrating to the USA.

Professional Training

            In addition to the professional training received over the years, as mentioned in my Introduction above, I received training in a timely fashion in mathematics technology (Texas Instrument – TI). One of these training has allowed me to be a T 3 Instructor, where I am expected to train mathematics teachers in the use of the graphing calculator.


Academic Strengths and Weaknesses

            Academically, my numeracy and technology skills are excellent. I try to excel in Research and Development (R&D). I have good writing skills, but I am not strong with my synonyms. After unofficially analyzing myself academically, I have noticed that I am a late developer. In my teachers’ college years, my GPA was low ( below 3.00 ). However, it has increased gradually over the years, and I am happy to say that I am a 4.00 student at the completion of my master’s degree in 2007.


Research Strengths and Weaknesses

            My Research skills in many areas are strong, especially in statistics and statistical analysis. My interpretation skills are not bad, and I can evaluate and draw conclusions appropriately. However, my weakest area of research is in the formulation of questions for surveys. I can formulate questions for interviews, but I am not good at putting those questions on paper. I find that rather strange.



Availability of Library, Reference, and Informational Technology Resources

            These resources are readily available to me and I, not only have access to them but, know how to utilize their services.  On the other hand, however, I do not have any available library source (books, journals, etc.) nor do I have any reference. With respect to Informational Technology ( I.T.), I have a few websites of my own, the main one is


 Part 3: Plan of Study  (The Curriculum Plan) and Program of Study (POS) Form


            The professional goals outlined in Part I of the plan, explains my aspiration as a Walden scholar. In achieving these goals, I intend to pursue my coursework, as required, for my doctoral specialization in educational technology. In this pursuit, I hope to earmark social change, part of the motto of Walden University, as the cornerstone of my academic development. As an instructional technologist, leaning towards becoming a technology scholar, my focus will center a lot on the continuous improvement of technology, in particular, educational technology.

            During my tenure at Walden, research will play a major role in my development. The Walden doctorate will provide the gateway for this research coupled with scholarly writing. The assignments of the Knowledge Area Modules (KAMs) will be one of the  ventures to accomplishing these ‘scholarly tasks’. I will be writing two of three core KAMS, as I have received Transfer of Credit (TOC) for one KAM. I hope to complete both KAMs in less than two years, simultaneously working on other coursework disciplines. I have chosen to write the KAMs in the order outlined in my Program of Study (POS). My first KAM topic will begin with Principles of Human Development.


Core Knowledge Area Module II: Principles of Human Development

            My first KAM relates to the development of humans and the attitude displayed towards change. Human effect on change is crucial to both people and societal development. The two entities are reciprocated. This KAM seeks to provide a solution to the change strategies which plague the human factor. There may not be an immediate remedy to the problem, but the solution will take effect in a timely manner. My focus in this KAM is on the effect that educational technology has on human development. Understanding the breadth of human development serves as a foundation in addressing the educational technology challenges that face today’s work environments. The theories that I choose to review includes the behavioral, cognitive, constructivism, and motivation. These were founded by theorists Jean Piaget (the father of child psychology), John Dewey (learning theory), Howard Gardner (multiple intelligence theory), Erik Erikson (8 stages of psychosocial development), Fredrick Herzberg and Victor Vroom (Motivational Theories), among others.

In the depth section of this KAM, I am reviewing how educational technology affects the human mind, thereby causing human development that has a positive impact on society. In addition to the theorists mentioned in the breadth, the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) and the International Technology Education Association (ITEA) will also play important roles in my research in this component. Integrating my depth research into my instructional technology practice at the workplace, will provide the means to couple theory and research and translate them into practice. Having done this, I will be able to identify a problem or an issue that is relevant, with the hope of achieving success in this venture. Currently, I am thinking of designing a technology based program and describe its impact on helping high school seniors transitioning from school to college.


Core Knowledge Area Module III: Principles of Social Systems

            This, my second and final KAM, focuses on social systems and how they relate to change, as well as how these systems can be analyzed and affect each other. Acquiring a comprehensive knowledge of these systems is beneficial, as this will allow for the understanding of the nature of the change to be effected. The social systems; which involves the economic system, the legal system, the political system, and the cultural

system, among others; form social structures within a society. These structures, in turn, form relationships with each other. My focus in this KAM is on the effect that educational technology has on social systems. Like the human development, understanding the breadth of social systems serves as a foundation in addressing the educational technology challenges that face today’s work environments. The theorists that I choose to review includes Emile Durkheim (the breakdown of social norms and the impersonality of social life), Max Weber (founder of the modern study of sociology), and Karl Marx (Marxism Theory – class conflict).     

In the depth section of this KAM, I am reviewing how the educational technology system impacts the social systems, thereby causing a positive effect. In addition to the theorists mentioned in the breadth, the works of American historian of science Debora Hammond (thinking about the complex systems) will also be reviewed in this component. Mixing  my depth research with my instructional technology practice at the worksite, will provide the means to combine theory and research and translate them into practice. The application component of this KAM allows me the opportunity to practice my knowledge of the wider social systems by solving a problem or resolving an issue specifically geared to  the educational technology system, with a view of the mutual impact they have on each other.      


My Program of Study

            I have designed a Program of Study (POS) for completion in 4 years, which allows me 9 months to complete each of my two KAMs, each of my three core research courses will be done in one quarter, each of my advanced courses (Ed. Tech specialization) will also be done in one quarter, and my advanced research course will be done in one quarter also.  I plan to complete my dissertation over a 12-month (4 quarters) period. This time period also includes two 4-day and two 6-day residencies to achieve the 20 residency units required for the doctoral degree. My wish is to complete this degree in a shorter time period, but I believe that this is a more realistic goal and my time will be dedicated to accomplish this task by spring of 2013.