Degree Name

EdD (Doctor of Education)


Educational Leadership

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Russell O. Mays

Committee Members

Nancy Dishner, Louise L. MacKay, Karilee K. Freeberg


Today, teachers are expected to play a major role in the socialization of their students. Crafting strong classroom communities that incorporate celebration is one technique some teachers have developed to enhance a sense of belonging in their classroom.

The purpose of this study was to determine the perceptions of teachers regarding what the practice of celebration accomplishes for the teacher, student, and class in reference to building and maintaining a classroom learning community. This study also examined approaches that teachers found to be the most successful in creating celebrations.

A multiple-site study design was used to gather qualitative data at 10 public elementary schools in East Tennessee. Data sources were standardized with open-ended interviews based on an interview guide. For the purposes of this study, celebration included group events and activities used to recognize, demonstrate, or promote significant classroom values, experiences, or occasions.

Many commonalities in teachers' perceptions about classroom celebrations emerged such as the enhancement of group solidarity, sense of belonging, and teachers' ability to find joy and meaning in teaching. Further qualitative and quantitative research should be conducted to determine how to best plan and implement celebrations for diverse classroom populations. In addition, a survey to capture ideas more broadly related to successful celebrations for a variety of age groups might be useful to practitioners. A study pertaining to the experience of classroom celebration from the perspective of the student was also recommended as a future area for research.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.