Date

7-2016

Department

School of Education

Degree

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Chair

Margaret Ackerman

Keywords

Central Office Administrators, Incompetent, Marginal, Teacher Evaluation

Disciplines

Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Leadership | Other Educational Administration and Supervision | Special Education Administration

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative transcendental phenomenological study was to examine the life experiences of 11 central office administrators from rural school divisions in Virginia, and investigate their shared experiences when assisting and supporting marginal special education teachers. The four theories guiding this study were Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, Collins, Brown and Newman’s cognitive apprenticeship theory, Evans’ path-goal leadership theory, and Burns’ transformational leadership theory. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory discusses the environment of a child impacts their growth and development. Collins, Brown, and Newman’s cognitive apprenticeships theory in context of this study describes how master teachers or administrators must train marginal teachers. Evans’ path-goal leadership theory pertains to this study by encouraging administrators to provide supports to teachers to meet necessary goals. Burns’ transformational leadership theory supports the idea that administrators must provide motivation to their teaching staff in order to raise them to acceptable levels. This study used the following research questions: R1: How do central office administrators in rural school districts in Virginia describe their experiences when working with marginal special education teachers? R2: How do central office administrators describe their experiences working with marginal special education teachers that they had to terminate from their position? R3: How, if at all, do central office administrators describe supports they provided to marginal special education teachers that enabled the teachers to meet district standards? R4: How, if at all, do central office administrators respond to the barriers they experienced when working with marginal special education teachers? R5: How do participant responses compare or contrast? Data collection methods consisted of interviews conducted on 11 central office administrators and field notes. Data analysis strategies consisted of horizonalization, reduction and elimination of invariants, clustering, thematizing, and final identification.