Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Dr. James Lampley

Committee Members

Catherine Glascock, Aimee Govett, Pamela Scott


The requirements of various educational reform movements such as No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top have left public education systems searching for ways to make sure students are reaching their highest potential. Because of the importance of accountability issues to school systems, it is important to examine ways to help students reach their potential. One tool school districts use to aid in improving student achievement is summer school. This qualitative study provides an overview of the history of summer school. Additionally, it offers a synopsis of various types of summer programs and populations often targeted by summer school. The researcher also offers a review of literature on student learning loss over the summer months. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of pre-K through third grade summer school teachers’ about the summer program in which they taught. The study emphasis was on preparation for summer school, analysis of teacher effectiveness, evaluation of the program, and teacher attitudes toward students. The participants in this study were 10 summer school teachers from a school system in northeast Tennessee. The analysis of data collected in this study introduced several themes and common patterns. Participants expressed the importance of being able to see changes in students over the course of their time in school. The value of participating in a summer school program that is different from the regular school year was found to be important to the teachers. Emphasizing that flexibility in pedagogy and fun for the students was important in making summer school successful. Participants reported that small class size aided in their ability to help the students reach their potentials. Summer school teachers in the study were found to value not just the academic activities but also enrichment activities for students during the summer program. Participants also related antidotal stories and shared situations in which summer school was helpful for particular students. These responses illustrate the significance of seeking teachers’ perceptions of the work they are doing.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.