Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

William Boozang, Ed.D.

Second Advisor

Matthew J. Basham, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Catherine A. Gniewek, Ed.D.


Employee engagement is a growing area of interest that organizational leaders are increasingly recognizing as central to organizational success. In an increasingly competitive market, international schools must also consider the importance of employee engagement. Current research on international schools include studies which focus on retention and turnover issues, yet research on teacher engagement in international schools is nonexistent, leaving a gap in the literature. This study followed an interpretive phenomenological analysis approach to investigate teacher engagement in Central Europe. A qualitative design utilized semistructured interviews to understand the lived experiences of 11 international school teachers and develop an understanding of the phenomenon of teacher engagement in international schools. Purposeful sampling was applied, and specific criteria was used in recruiting to target tenured individuals more embedded in their lives and not intending to leave their school in the near future. Data from interview transcripts identified six superordinate themes related to teacher engagement: personal values, communication, leadership presence, relationship and community building, tools and processes, and professional consideration. Three key findings of the study that can inform leadership training and professional development include: (a) personal values drive teachers’ engagement in the classroom, (b) teachers want interaction with leadership, and (c) leadership has a direct influence on teacher’s work and organizational engagement. The implication of these findings suggest that school leaders should be proactive in interacting with teachers to support classroom and organizational engagement.

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