Date of Award



© 2022 Karl O'Leary

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Deborah Jameson

Second Advisor

Dawn Mackiewicz

Third Advisor

John Owen


Professional learning is an essential tool for teachers to effectively learn and grow in their discipline. The professional learning model has not developed in tandem with the teacher certification requirements, as well as the changing dynamics in education. With the increase in mandated requirements, teachers have not witnessed an enhanced professional learning model that can align with their adult needs and guide them along the path to accomplish the goal of learning.

Preliminary research identified a gap in relationships from professional learning to the implementation in the classroom (Fulmer, 2016). The study’s research problem was that while professional learning experiences have been provided for teachers, it was unclear whether these experiences help teachers learn and grow in their disciplines and pedagogy. The purpose of this qualitative narrative study was to explore through stories, teachers’ perceptions of the professional learning experiences they participated in to identify optimal learning environments that can promote their own learning and growth in their discipline and pedagogy.

The findings in this study revealed that all participants identified a need for professional learning that enhances the importance of teacher motivation, provides a clear purpose for the professional growth, and offers empowerment for teachers through individual choice. Future studies can focus on the culture of the teaching faculty and its impact on professional learning, how to increase motivation with teachers, the impact of professional learning and student learning, as well as change with the culture regarding professional learning.


Ed.D. Dissertation