School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Leonard W Parker


Adult Learning Theory, Professional Development, Professional Learning Community, Social Cognitive Theory, Teacher Efficacy, Tribes Learning Community


Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration | Other Education


The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study is to describe elementary educators’ on-the-job experiences after completing a self-selected professional development (PD). This study was guided by the overall question: How do elementary educators describe on-the-job experiences after completing self-selected professional development? To provide further direction of the vast experiences three sub questions were utilized. (a) To what extent, if at all, have practices from the professional development been implemented? (b) What factors are perceived to positively impact implementation of the professional development? (c) What factors are perceived to negatively impact implementation of the professional development? Albert Bandura’s social cognitive theory, as it relates to social learning and teacher efficacy, and Malcolm Knowles’ adult learning theory, as it focuses on the needs of adult learners, both set foundations and provided structure for this study. Semi-structured interviews, experience writings, artifact collections, and focus groups - or follow-up clarification – all strive to capture the educators’ experiences regarding PD. A poetic rendition is presented based upon the participant’s individual experiences. Then, through several stages of coding the transcribed interviews and other data sources, as well as the researcher’s reflective journal, 10 themes emerged as a descriptive account and insight on effective PD practices through these experiences. Implications are discussed, recommendations provided, along with suggestions for future PD research.