School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Patricia Ferrin


Tier 1, Professional Development, Critical Thinking, Teacher Perceptions, Elementary Education, Multi-Tiered System of Supports




The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to examine teachers' experiences of implementing professional development into Tier 1 instruction at three elementary schools in North Central Texas. Participating teachers had at least three years of experience in grades Pre-Kindergarten through fifth. The leading theory which guided this study was the theory of andragogy by Knowles. Moreover, when teachers had an opportunity to self-reflect and understand how the learned strategies would improve student academic success, the implementation were heightened. The problem with Tier 1 professional development was that teachers were not involved in planning for the instructional strategies, which had the potential to positively impact their Tier 1 instruction. The question that needed to be answered is how did elementary teachers implement newly learned knowledge into Tier 1 instruction? The gap in current research lied in neglecting to inquire about how PD is integrated into their Tier 1 instruction through teacher perceptions. Participating teachers were randomly sampled from the three elementary schools in Mayberry Independent School District. Data was collected from interviews, writing and reflecting over a given prompt, and collaboration during focus groups. The analysis approach was to view of the data collected through epoche bracketing and analyzing transcripts to find emerging themes in the teacher's lived experiences. The results revealed four distinct themes through data collection: (a) professional development, (b) Tier 1 instruction, (c) barriers, and (d) building critical thinking.

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