Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

December 1987


The problem of this study was to investigate the problems listed as bothersome and their frequency as identified by selected elementary teachers. Another objective was to analyze differences between teacher problems and selected social demographic variables. The background research was limited to a review of the literature related to the subject. It was determined that the relevance of professional problem solving as a competency could provide formative information to guide changes in undergraduate, graduate, preservice, and in-service education. A descriptive research design was followed by surveying a selected sample of teachers of grades 1-7 in the nine counties and two cities with independent school districts in Southwest Virginia. Three hundred fifteen teachers were randomly selected to participate in the study. Two hundred forty-six teachers responded, and the findings reflect their responses. The statistical analysis of the collected data indicated significant differences in 12 of the 21 hypotheses developed for the study. A significant relationship existed between the frequency and bothersomeness of problems and the following clusters of problems: affiliation, control, parent relationships and home conditions, student success, and time. The predominately mentioned problems of teachers were problems dealing with time--having enough time to plan and implement good teaching and to complete related responsibilities. The second most frequently mentioned problems were problems dealing with student success. Conclusions of the study emphasized the fact that teachers can and will identify and share their school-related problems. Older and more experienced teachers were less bothered by problems than were the younger and less experienced teachers. Teachers in grades 3, 4, and 6 were more bothered by problems. No difference existed between the frequency and bothersomeness of problems and the sex of the teachers. There was also no relationship between the frequency and bothersomeness of problems and class size or the degree earned by the teacher. Teachers who indicated that they were less than very satisfied with teaching experienced more frequent problems and were much more bothered by those problems than were teachers who said that they were very satisfied with teaching. Seventy percent of the respondents were less than very satisfied with their undergraduate preparation program for teaching, and 60% of the respondents indicated that they were less than very satisfied with teaching.

Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access