Factors Leading Educators to Pursue a Doctoral Degree to Meet Professional Development Needs
This study investigates the professional development needs of educators with a Master’s degree and seeking or having a doctoral degree in education.
ABSTRACT Aim/Purpose This study investigates the professional development needs of educators with a Master’s degree and seeking or having a doctoral degree in education. Background Understanding the professional development needs of educators is important for meeting these needs. The literature focuses on post-bachelor education but does not address professional development and doctoral degree needs. Methodology Educators with a Master’s degree in education seeking or having completed a doctoral degree participated in one 30 minute semi-structured interview. Contribution This research can be used as a guide for how to support Master’s-level educators seeking doctoral degrees. Findings Master’s level students earning a doctorate degree in education found professional development satisfied through their programs when experiential learning opportunities were provided and in-depth institutional support. Recommendations for Practitioners Educators seeking a doctorate degree in education to meet their professional development needs should seek out higher education opportunities that include mentorships and experiential learning opportunities. Recommendations for Researchers Further research is necessary to understand how additional professional development needs can be met in higher education and in the creation of successful professional development partnerships. Impact on Society Required teacher professional development can increase classroom performance if necessary educator needs are met. Future Research Additional research on professional development successes in schools partnering with higher education institutions potentially for a dual purpose of obtaining doctorate degrees may provide an invaluable increase in classroom performance.
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