Date of Award

Spring 4-8-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Brandy Kamm, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Chris Jenkins, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Ralph Spraker, Ph.D.


Traditional professional development for teachers provides time to gain knowledge about classroom content, skills to effectively teach, and the possibility to improve student learning. The problem is teachers’ dissatisfaction with the design of professional development. Research indicates that teachers participate in professional development, but it is ineffective, irrelevant, and makes teachers feel undervalued as professionals. The purpose of this study is to improve teachers’ perceptions about traditional professional development. This study is based on seminal research by Malcolm Knowles’ andragogy, an adult learning framework. This study is driven by three research questions to determine how the andragogy framework improved teachers’ perceptions and which components either helped or detracted from improving those perceptions. The methodology is qualitative action research implementing andragogy into professional development. The instrumentation was one open-ended questionnaire. The sample are teachers employed at a southern urban school district in the United States. The findings from the research illustrate how teachers’ perceptions of traditional professional development improved due to the andragogy framework. There are four key findings: (a) teacher satisfaction; (b) teacher agency; (c) relevant and meaningful experiences; and (d) process contributions. The findings were positively significant and suggest teachers want more responsibility and agency to control their learning based on their needs or the needs of the classroom. By employing andragogy into traditional professional development, teachers’ perceptions improved creating meaningful experiences. This study advances the understanding of teachers as adult learners.