Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Virginia P. Foley

Committee Members

Elizabeth Ralston, Catherine H. Glascock, Pamela H. Scott


During the past century the educational reform movements focused on the need for highly qualified teachers based on research surrounding the effects on student achievement related to the quality of the teacher (Busatto, 2004). The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) was created in 1987 in response to the increasing focus placed on having quality teachers (Berg, 2003; Humphrey, Koppich, & Hough, 2005; NBPTS, 2011). The NBPTS is an organization governed by teachers that emphasizes sound instructional practices and improving teaching. The standards for National Board Certification are based on solid research that recognizes education practices that result in improvement in student achievement (NBPTS, 2012b). If the National Board Certification process identifies effective teachers, then the classroom practices of those teachers should demonstrate research-based best practices in their everyday instruction. The purpose of this study was to explore the everyday instructional practices of 3 Nationally Board Certified (NBC) teachers who taught grades 4 and 5 in east Tennessee. This study was a multi-site, qualitative study that included classroom observations, semi-structured interviews, and checklists to conduct descriptive and evaluative case studies involving 3 Nationally Board Certified teachers who taught in counties located in east Tennessee. Research conducted by Marzano, Pickering, and Polluck (2001) identified 9 best practices of effective teachers; those practices were used as a framework for observation. Through observations and interviews the researcher investigated the teaching strategies used by 3 NBC teachers and how those strategies compare to the 9 best practices identified by Marzano et al. (2001). Further, the researcher sought to understand how the National Board Certification process impacted those strategy choices. Findings for this study support the following 3 conclusions. First, this research study revealed that the participating Nationally Board Certified teachers use research-based best practices regularly in their classrooms. Second, the NBC process makes a positive impact on instructional practices in the classroom according to the 3 teachers in this study. Last, the NBC process made a difference in the reflective practices of the 3 participants in this inquiry.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.