Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Brocato, D. Kay

Committee Member

Cutts, Qiana M.

Committee Member

Prince, Debra L.

Committee Member

Davis, James E.

Committee Member

Coats, Linda T.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


School Administration

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Educational Leadership


There were several purposes to this case study using a convergent parallel mixed method design. The first purpose was to explore how one exemplary high school science teacher (EST) and her selected supporting administrator rated the importance of particular elements of science instruction. The second purpose was to describe how an EST explained her practices of fostering success for her students. The third purpose was to identify the administrator’s practices that supported the EST as described by both educator participants. Data for this study were collected through two researcher-developed instruments, interviews, and documents. The EST completed the Questionnaire of Exemplary Science Teachers (QEST), and the administrator completed the Questionnaire for Administrator Perception of Exemplary Science Teachers (QAPEST). The researcher also conducted an interview with each participant and analyzed documents (i.e., lesson plans, students’ course grades, and Biology Subject Area Testing Program results). The EST examined data to provide context to the case study. Results of the study revealed that both the EST and administrator understood and closely agreed on the importance of science and in the methods of planning and teachingscience. Results also indicated that students taught by the EST were successful in a science program. The EST used a combination of specifying objectives, diagnosing and evaluating student learners in science instruction, planning of science instruction, and delivering of science instruction to assist her students in becoming successful. Results also revealed that the EST and the administrator believed that building strong personal relationships with the students motivated students to want to succeed even more for the EST. Finally, results indicated that unwavering, generative administrative support was helpful in supporting the teacher’s exemplary instruction.