Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Eric Glover

Committee Members

Cecil Blankenship, Virginia Foley, Pam Scott


The purpose of this study was to determine what sources of professional knowledge are available to principals in 1 rural East Tennessee school district. Qualitative research methods were applied to gain an understanding of what sources of knowledge are used by school principals in 1 rural East Tennessee school district and the barriers they face to using knowledge sources. This study questioned whether these resources are adequate for, accessible to, and used by school principals. In this study I examined principals’ perceptions of the need for a district-led mentoring program.

The study first consisted of a preliminary data collection procedure. Ten of the school district’s principals completed a demographic questionnaire and list of survey questions developed from the 4 research questions and elements of the literature review. These data were reviewed by the researcher in order to categorize the respondents’ responses into meaningful demographic data. The final data collection procedure involved 6 principals chosen to complete face-to-face interviews consisting of open-ended questions developed from an initial interview protocol. Results indicated the principals’ examples of seeking knowledge and information from data sources, collegial professionalism, readings of research and literature, and professional development. The principals presented evidence that they embrace teaching and learning within their roles as school principals. The 2 areas on which the principals focused their concerns were time and the current state department educational reforms. The principals provided recommendations for a future district-wide principal mentoring program.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.