Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching & Learning


Problem: This study examined the mutuality of perceptions on educational issues of public school teachers and full-time members of the teacher education departments in North Dakota colleges and universities.

The purpose of the study was to determine if public school teachers and teacher educators perceive educational issues in a like manner.

The study examined if the number of years a person has taught in public schools will make a significant difference in perceptions of educational issues.

This study examined if certain variables related to past and present field experience of teacher educators have an effect upon their perceptions of educational issues.

Procedure: An opinion questionnaire was sent to a randomly selected sample of 300 public school teachers in the state of North Dakota. This questionnaire asked them to identify educational issues that were of concern to them, and how teacher education programs in North Dakota were responding to these concerns.

The data supplied by the returned questionnaires were extrapolated into a second questionnaire utilizing the Likert Scale. This second questionnaire was mailed to a second randomly selected group of 300 public school teachers. The questionnaire was also mailed to all 116 full-time members of the departments of teacher education in North Dakota. In order to gain a greater understanding of their responses to the second questionnaire a selected sample of both groups of respondents were interviewed.

Statistical treatments included the use of the t test to determine significant differences in perceptions between public school teachers and teacher educators. A one-way analysis of variance was used to measure the differences in perceptions among public school teachers with varying numbers of years of experience. This was determined using the F test. Correlations were determined on six variables relating to past and present field experience of teacher educators and how these variables relate to their perceptions of educational issues.

Findings: Significant differences, concerning mutuality of perceptions, were found on 32 of the 73 questionnaire items. Significant differences were found on 20 per cent of the items where the competency of neither group of educators was questioned. When the competency of either or both groups of educators was questioned, significant differences increased to 45 and 46 per cent.

The results of the study show that increased experience of public school teachers does significantly alter perceptions of educational issues. Significant differences were found on 30 of the 73 items. Teachers with one to two years experience were found to have significantly different perceptions from the other groups of teachers on 28 of these 30 items.

Fourteen items have significant correlations with the variable of the number of years since previous public school teaching experience. Other variables that concern the teacher educators' previous public school teaching experience also reach significance. The variable of supervision of student teaching correlates significantly with six items. Four of these six items have negative correlations. Only one item correlated significantly with the variable of other types of field experience. No items correlated significantly with the variable of whether other types of field experience were meaningful or not.

Conclusions: Based upon the data collected for the study, the following conclusions seem appropriate.

1. Public school teachers and teacher educators in the state of North Dakota do not share similar perceptions of educational issues.

2. Beginning teachers in the state of North Dakota have significantly different perceptions than do teachers with more experience.

3. Role theory may be used to explain the results of some findings of this study.

4. Previous public school teaching experience, and particularly the amount of time since this experience last occurred, will positively influence perceptions of teacher educators.

5. Supervision of student teachers has a slightly negative effect upon the perceptions of teacher educators.