Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Seven Vermont school districts participated in a five year professional development program sponsored jointly by the National Science Foundation and the United States Department of Education from 2002-2007. Using a robust mixed methods evaluation, teachers and students demonstrate pronounced organizational and academic growth. Analysis of data from focus groups held with teachers over the course of the period from fall 2004-spring 2006 provides strong supporting evidence for the growth. The purpose of this dissertation is to reanalyze the focus group data to document institutional and longitudinal change at the first person level. With focus groups as the unit of analysis, themes rising from the anonymous participants‟ I statements form the substance for this review. By revisiting an extensive pre-existing data set with a different method of analysis, this work expands on what is known about how teachers process change on the ground level. The findings reveal how complex individual feelings about one‟s experiences serve to describe degrees of institutional as well as personal change. New thematic coding confirms the original findings of the program evaluation. More importantly, the findings provide new details and understandings about organizational change and growth previously unobserved in the aggregate reports. By way of a methodological contribution, the research findings suggest and demonstrate an alternative approach to the analysis of focus group data in the aggregate.
Rice Nolte, Penelope, "A Chorus of Voices: Re-Examining Focus Group Data for Evidence of Personal and Institutional Change" (2008). Graduate College Dissertations and Theses. 193.