School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Jerry Vance Pickard


Concussion Education, Teacher Knowledge, Academic Accommodations, Professional Development


Education | Teacher Education and Professional Development


Concussions have received significant media attention in recent years. Although research has focused on the knowledge and perceptions of parents, athletes, and coaches regarding sports-related concussions, little attention has been given to discovering what teachers know about concussions and the correct concussion protocol for the classroom, even though concussions affect academic performance. The purpose of this applied study was to understand further the problem of deficiency in teacher knowledge of sports-related concussions, including symptoms, academic adjustments needed, and how to design appropriate professional development to address this problem. This study incorporated a mixed methods design to examine the effect of concussion education professional development on classroom teachers’ knowledge of concussions in general and the appropriate academic adjustments for students who have a sports-related concussion. The quantitative portion of the study included a pretest-posttest control group design. Secondary school teachers from an educational region in one southern state were invited to participate, and 33 completed the study. Through a customized website, all participants took a pretest, after which they were randomly assigned to either a control group (no professional development) or treatment group (professional development in the form of an online video and handout). Participants then took the posttest to determine whether the professional development had a statistically significant effect on concussion-related knowledge. For the qualitative portion of the study, individual interviews were conducted with eight of the participants after they watched a video about concussions. These interviews were used to determine the extent of perceived knowledge of symptoms and academic adjustments, and findings guided recommendations for a professional development plan that can be implemented in schools.