Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Forde, Connie

Committee Member

Olinzock, Anthony

Committee Member

Yu, Chien

Committee Member

Davis, Ed

Committee Member

Morse, Linda

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Instructional Systems and Workforce Development

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Instructional Systems, Leadership and Workforce Development


This research investigated the impact of teacher in-service and individual professional development for business educators in the following areas: classroom instruction, teacher motivation, the continuity of individual professional development, the professional development needs of business educators compared with those of other teachers, the status of business education professional development, and the manner in and extent to which current professional development activities are meeting needs. Satisfaction levels with in-service and individual professional development were also identified. Lastly, this study examined the role of business educators in determining local in-service events. Participants included 109 Alabama business educators who completed an online survey about their professional development over the previous 12 months. Respondents indicated top areas of in-service training: classroom technology, emerging technology, special needs students, and school safety. Individual attendance at workshops on software ranked highest; classroom-related workshops followed. Overall, 67% expressed satisfaction with in-service training, and 82.1% expressed satisfaction with individual professional development. On average, respondents received 158.1 hours of individual professional development during the previous year. Computer workshops received the most attendance while professional meetings received the least. Impact on instruction was considered modest; the mean impact score of 118 reflected a restrained agreement with impact statements. Qualitative responses were given on specific impacts in the classroom. No significant correlation was found between the impact of professional development on instruction and the number of hours spent in professional development. ANOVA was conducted and revealed that impact scores of teachers were not significantly affected by years of experience or satisfaction levels with in-service. Teachers are generally motivated to pursue professional development. The desire to learn how to better teach a skill was the greatest motivator. Time and money were the greatest barriers. The majority of teachers are continually pursuing professional development over a 5-year period but not doing so annually. Business educators’ topic preferences were similar to regular education teachers’, especially in the area of technology. Student motivation and technology were top categories of need. Most business educators have never served on an advisory committee to suggest in-service activities.



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