School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


James Eller


Military Spouse Employment, Cross-state Teacher Mobility, Tied-migrant, Educators, Teacher Licensure




The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe the experiences of educators who are tied-migrant spouses of active duty members in the United States armed forces. The theoretical framework guiding this study was McClusky’s margin theory which was used to describe the relationship of an individual’s power to the load that they carried in living, resulting in the margin that was available to them. The central research question that guided this study was: What are the experiences of educators who are tied-migrant military spouses? The sub-research questions guiding this study were: What do the tied-migrant spouses describe as their power? What loads are tied-migrant spouses already carrying in living? What motivations influenced the tied-migrant spouses’ career decisions? How does the tied-migrant military spouse educator define success? To describe the experiences of tied-migrant military spouse educators, a transcendental phenomenological approach was used so that the individual stories could be gathered, and the experiences could be understood. The experiences were revealed through questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and focus groups. Moustakas’s seven steps for data analysis were used to analyze the experiences, to create themes, develop a structural and textural description of the phenomenon, and describe the overall essence of the experience. Overall, the participants voiced frustration with the military lifestyle in regard to their professional experiences. The participants stated that the demands of the military lifestyle often did not allow for sufficient margin to work and accomplish professional advancement. Keywords: military spouse educators, tied-migrant spouse, permanent change of station (PCS), deployment

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