Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Jill F. Russell


The purpose of this study was to describe and understand the experiences of teachers and instructional leaders related to the delivery of professional development at the middle school level. This qualitative study examines four professional development experiences and provides a summary of emerging themes related to those experiences for both teachers and instructional leaders at the middle level in order to describe the phenomenon of professional learning at the middle level. Utilizing four schools in the Omaha Public Schools, a focus group of teachers and an instructional leader comprise the sample from each school. Professional development delivery models are separated by interdisciplinary teaming, a tenet of middle school reform, and other delivery models. Themes which emerged as being important to the professional development experience are reported by both delivery model and overall. Emerging themes for the teaming model include the amount of time for receiving professional development, hands-on/interactive activities, small groups, peer observations, instructional coaching, and relevance of topic. Emerging themes for other delivery models include time for implementation of strategies, application to content, peer observations, instructional coaching, and relevancy to content. Prevailing themes overall include time to receive and implement professional development, application to content, use of hands-on activities, peer observations, instructional coaching, and relevance of topic.


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate College of the University of Nebraska at Omaha in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education. Copyright 2017 Carrie A. Mohr.

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