Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Wyatt, John

Committee Member

Adams, James

Committee Member

Davis, James

Committee Member

Cornelious, Linda F.

Committee Member

Parker, Robin

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 and Workforce Development


This research study originated as a result of a paucity of information available regarding how secondary welding teachers in Mississippi perceive the value of professional development they have received within the previous two years. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of Mississippi’s secondary welding teachers regarding how professional development had affected their teaching methods and collaboration with peers. Also, this study sought to determine whether the teachers had positive motivation in attending professional development activities, and how motivated they were to pursue their own professional development, other than school-mandated activities. Finally, the study examined the barriers teachers perceived to hinder them from pursuing their own professional development. The findings in this study revealed that Mississippi’s secondary welding teachers had a positive perception regarding how current professional development had changed their teaching methodology, student expectation, content comprehension, and confidence in teaching. Furthermore, respondents indicated that they had experienced enhanced collaboration with other welding teachers within the state as a result of professional development sessions; however, data revealed that collaboration between their academic counterparts was nearly nonexistent. Financial incentives and improving their teaching skill were found to be positive motivators for teachers. Personal costs, distance traveled to professional development sessions, and perceived value of professional development were determined to be barriers to attending professional development opportunities. It was recommended that future studies should include determining if welding teachers with welding certifications outperform teachers who do not have welding certifications, determine the consistency of laboratory equipment among school districts, whether the laboratory equipment in the local schools match those found in the actual employment environment, determine whether the teachers have the most up-to-date skills needed to match those skills found in industrial employment and investigate the perception of local businesses and industries about the quality of the student they have hired who graduated from Mississippi secondary welding programs. Lastly, it is recommended that administrators consider including academic teachers, career and technical teachers, and industry representatives in professional development activities to increase collaboration between stakeholders.