Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Jennie Gibson



Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair

Eric Platt

Committee Member

Donald Hopper

Committee Member

Steven Nelson

Committee Member

Donna Menke


Abstract The purpose of this study is to evaluate early childhood teachers perceptions regarding their specific needs and the job-embedded professional development training they have been provided. The study will explore two core areas regarding the program planning of early childhood teacher professional development: planning context and designing instruction. In this study, planning context includes opportunities for reflection, collaboration and feedback, and choices regarding structure and content. As these are key components of job-embedded professional development, they are included to measure teacher perceptions of prior professional development. Designing instruction involves the following concepts: topics of student teacher relationships, child development and behavior, student readiness for upper grades, specific content and instruction, diversity, and classroom environment. These topics have been identified in the research as being critical to a high quality early childhood program. Two conceptual frameworks undergird this quantitative study: job-embedded professional development and a program planning assessment process. The teachers taking part in this study are housed in three types of educational environments: early childhood centers, Prek-1st grade schools, and Prek-2nd grade schools in the state of Tennessee. This study uses an existing data set of teacher responses from the 2018 Teacher Educator Survey as well as demographic data from the Tennessee Department of Education to determine if school size and other demographic features have a significant impact upon teacher perceptions of job-embedded professional development. Utilizing secondary analysis, this quantitative data was coded and analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23.0. The results of this study provide valuable feedback to school leaders, policymakers, and planners of targeted professional development for early childhood educators.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest