Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Louise L. MacKay

Committee Members

Cecil N. Blankenship, Nancy Dishner, Russell O. Mays


Since its conception in 1987, much money and effort have been expended establishing the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Although 16,038 educators in 45 states and the District of Columbia have obtained National Board Certification, there are over 1,200 teachers in the East Tennessee counties of Cocke and Sevier who are eligible for National Board Certification, but have not obtained this certification. This study sought to identify the barriers that discouraged this population from attempting to gain National Board Certification.

The research design was inferential and utilized data from a survey instrument constructed by the researcher. A pilot test of the instrument was conducted, reliability coefficients calculated, and survey items retained, modified, or deleted based on the results. The final survey contained 38 statements (grouped into five subscales) and a demographic section. A total of 700 surveys were sent to eligible educators in the public schools of Cocke and Sevier counties; of those, 459 were returned and 448 responses were usable. Other variables studied were age, gender, teaching assignment, years of teaching experience, education level attained, future plans to attempt, not attempt, or unsure about attempting National Board Certification, informational sources, and overall opinions of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. In addition, a space was provided for comments.

Findings included: The most problematic barriers from greatest to least were personal obstacles, teaching professionalism, teacher morale, evaluation process, and financial considerations. Significant differences regarding the barriers existed in all demographic areas included in the study except for educational levels, and the majority of respondents had a negative overall opinion of National Board Certification. However, the opinion varied with the source of information about the process. Educators who received their information from local administrators and published materials had a more positive opinion than those that received their information from peers. This study indicates that the barriers identified are factors in keeping eligible East Tennessee educators from attempting National Board Certification.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.