Committee Chair

Rausch, David W.

Committee Member

Miller, Ted L.; Crawford, Elizabeth K.; Challener, Dan D.


School of Professional Studies


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


Most people would agree that education is imperative to the development of young people. However, the education that students need, and are receiving, is in a constant state of shift due to an ever-changing society. Some of the developmental needs of today’s students are not the same as those in the past. As a result of these changes, as well as concerns regarding the education some students are receiving, the requirements and expectations for the education students receive are changing. Research has indicated that the role the teacher plays in the development of young is important. Teachers need to stay well informed of the developmental needs of current students along with new expectations and requirements. Professional development will be important to a teacher’s ability to keep up with students’ current needs as well as changes in requirements and expectations. Research indicated that effective professional development can lead to changes in instruction. Guskey (2000) suggested that research shows very few, if any, significant advances in education take place without professional development. However, there are concerns regarding the professional development teachers are receiving. Reeves (2006) mentioned a gap exists between certain examples of professional development and the impact these activities have on classroom practices. This mixed methods grounded research study was a three-phase investigation that included a meta-analysis, teacher focus group data analysis, and survey. Ten attributes emerged from the meta-analysis and focus group data analysis. These attributes included context of learning, collaboration of teachers, adult learning, active learning, time for professional development, school focus, time to implement, teachers observing other teachers, school based professional development, and professional development for planning. Middle school teachers agreed with the meta-analysis and focus group findings when given an opportunity to agree or disagree when responding to a survey. This study was completed on the premise that if school leaders consider what teachers believe to be important when planning and implementing professional development, teachers will be more likely to implement newly learned activities into their classroom practice.


I would like to thank my chair, Dr. David Rausch, for his expectation of excellence in this dissertation project. I would also like to thank him for all the time he spent reading my drafts, offering his expertise, advice, guidance, support, and encouragement throughout this process. I would also like to thank my methodologist, Dr. Ted Miller, for his skill in helping me develop and implement the prospectus, proposal, methodology, and analysis of findings of this project as well as the time he spent proof reading my drafts. Thirdly, I would like to thank Dr. Beth Crawford for the help she provided with Endnote and other formatting issues as well as the time she spent reading my drafts providing advice. I would like to thank Dr. Dan Challener for allowing me to review the MSNS data for this project as well as the encouragement, advice, and support he provided throughout this process. I would like to thank the Hamilton County Department of Education for allowing me to administer a survey to middle school teachers. I would like to thank my peers who took my draft survey and offered suggestions. Finally, I would like to say thank you to my friends who helped me along the way by offering encouragement and support.


Ed. D.; A dissertation submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Education.




Teachers -- Training of; Teachers -- In-service training


Professional Ddevelopment; Teacher; School leaders; Education; Students; Attributes

Document Type

Doctoral dissertations




xiv, 243 leaves