Term of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Delores D. Liston

Committee Member 1

Hsu-Lien Lu

Committee Member 2

Yasar Bodur

Committee Member 3

Beverly Graham

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate k-12 teachers' perceptions of the influence of Teacher of the Year (TOTY) awards upon teachers' personal, school, and professional morale, as defined by Mackenzie (2007a). The sample was comprised of the 198 respondents to the researcher's online Teacher Recognition Schemes survey during July-August 2011. The study utilized a mixed methods approach that included collecting and analyzing both quantitative and qualitative research data. Statistical significance was noted in the following areas: TOTY recipients perceived significantly greater influences of the award upon both personal and professional morale than did their non-recipient colleagues. Further, TOTY and non-TOTY survey respondents alike who had pursued other career paths perceived significantly less influence of the award upon personal morale. Otherwise, the various collected demographic information, including the grade level at which a respondent taught and number of years as a teacher, did not appear to have had a significant impact on perceptions, regardless of TOTY award status. This study provided information and an inventory of suggestions that could be beneficial to administrators in charge of Teacher of the Year programs in k-12 settings. Implications for future research, practices and strategies are also discussed.

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