Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award

December 1989


The problem of this study was to identify a validated model of professional development centers (PDCs) for teacher education that could be applied collaboratively by administrators in higher education and the local school systems. A thorough investigation failed to reveal a model. Therefore, a professional development center model was synthesized from the literature, attributes of existing centers, and ideas of East Tennessee educators who were in positions to implement such a model. The examination of centers incorporated both quantitative and qualitative research methodology. The quantitative investigation was a combination of inductive and deductive analysis of responses to a survey form on PDCs that was developed by the investigator. Four centers were visited for the gathering of qualitative data in a naturalistic inquiry. Some quantitative data analyses were conducted by using the univariate method which included frequency counts and simple retrievals. Analyses provided descriptive statistics and percentages of characteristics of each PDC. The quantitative data analyses were synthesized with the qualitative data analyses for a comprehensive theoretical model. The model had ecological and face validity according to local educators and experts on the topic of PDCs. The findings were that PDCs had common goals and utilized a collaborative approach to problem solving and goal attainment among various levels including the school, the local education agency (LEA) level, the institution of higher education (IHE) level, and the state level. PDCs improved communication, trust, and support among teachers within and between schools, administrators, IHE faculty, and the community. PDCs promoted changes in both the IHE and LEA. The results of this study should prove useful to educational institutions in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of PDCs. Professional development centers provide structure for reform in teacher education.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted