Re: can a better pedal improve my technique?
As a relative noob drummer and a picky gear hound, I'll take a swing at this.
To answer the question in your thread title, I'd have to say, no, a better pedal cannot improve your technique.
Perhaps what you really wanted to know is whether a poor pedal can hinder your technique, and in my experience (including 35 years of playing guitar, bass, and keyboards, woodworking, electronics, computers, etc.), unequivocally, YES, crappy gear can hold you back.
gish mentioned it in passing, but the first thing I would do in you situation is make sure I had adjusted my existing pedal properly.
When I first started playing a year ago, I borrowed a low end Tama from a friend and struggled with it. Then I picked up a low end Pearl on CL and suddenly I could play a lot of stuff more easily that I couldn't with the Tama.
Eventually, I examined how the pedals were adjusted, and the spring was cranked way tight on the Tama, and the beater angle was way back. After I changed those things, the pedal became much friendlier (although I still preferred the Pearl).
Also, check your throne height. May seem odd, but I find that throne height affects my bass pedal technique.
Bottom line: learn how to set up and adjust your hardware. This will serve you well when you eventually get a better pedal with half a dozen adjustments on it.
(All I have said goes for the hi hat stand as well. When I tuned the spring tension, etc. I could do a lot more subtle stuff.)
Anyway, Guitar Center sent out a card showing a brand new Tama pedal for $40 on their Labor Day sale. Might be a good bet.