School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Cristie McClendon


teaching excellence, teacher professional development, teacher training, teacher best practices


Education | Educational Leadership | Elementary Education and Teaching | Junior High, Intermediate, Middle School Education and Teaching | Secondary Education and Teaching | Teacher Education and Professional Development


This qualitative, collective case study explored the phenomenon of teaching excellence from the perspective of multiple stakeholders to include parents, administrators and teachers in one Michigan school district. Research questions focused on stakeholder perspectives regarding the cognitive and affective attributes, as well as dispositions of excellent teachers. Teaching excellence, for the purpose of this study, was defined as teachers who demonstrated high levels of effectiveness in four areas: planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction, and professional responsibilities. Effectiveness was identified using teacher evaluation results of teachers who had at least 90% Highly Effective and Effective ratings with no rankings of Ineffective on their most recent annual evaluation. Demographic questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, and a collection of artifacts provided qualitative data was used to build an in-depth picture of teaching excellence attributes in teachers as reported from multiple perspectives. Five major themes were identified as a result of initial coding and categorical aggregation following the collection of data from multiple stakeholders. The themes were: excellent teachers design effective instruction, excellent teachers know themselves, excellent teachers focus on relationships, excellent teachers know their students, and excellent teachers consistently exceed job expectations.