Ed.D. Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


College of Education



Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.

Faculty Chair

Floralba A. Marrero, Ed.D.

Content Specialist

Aaron Cooley, Ph.D.

Content Reader

Becky Copper Glenz, Ed.D.


professional development, middle school educators, young adolescent development, effective practices, teacher perceptions


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to investigate the perceptions middle school educators shared regarding the effectiveness and relevancy of their professional development trainings. Professional development opportunities serve as a method for learning and growth to educators and assist them in adapting to educational changes throughout their careers. Effective and relevant development practices have been shown to increase the value educators assign to the experience as well as increase the likelihood educators will bring their newfound knowledge into their classrooms. This study utilized personal one-on-one interviews and reflective journaling with 12 participants from the Pacific Northwest. Nine of the participants joined in a focus group setting for additional questioning. The overall themes produced by this research study were that educators view professional development opportunities as necessary, educators want effective learning methods during trainings, and middle school educators need targeted training pertaining to their specific population of students. While participants discussed both positive and negative aspects of their current trainings, agreement was made that professional development practices still have much room for improvement to be considered both effective and relevant to their current teaching positions and practices.

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