Date of Award

Winter 1995

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Urban Services - Urban Education

Committee Director

Dwight W. Allen

Committee Member

Eleanor Handerhan

Committee Member

Maurice Berube

Committee Member

Rebecca S. Bowers

Committee Member

Donna B. Evans


This dissertation employs a case study methodology to examine the perceptions of discrete groups of educational stakeholders about the roles of teachers in two temporal conditions: the present and the future. The study proceeded in two steps: a series of structured interviews and a card sort. Members of nine different groups with varying perspectives on education were interviewed to validate the selection of teacher roles to be used in the card sort and to generate new roles to include in the study. Initially roles were identified through a literature review, brainstorming with practitioners and consulting colleagues. Interviews included both focused and unfocused sections and four additional roles were added to the list as a result of the interviews.

For the second step, 35 teacher roles were printed on cards and presented to respondents for rank ordering in two different temporal conditions, the present and the future. In addition, respondents classified the roles as important or less important.

Data were analyzed statistically and by examining frequencies of response, both weighted and non-weighted. No significant interaction between demographic variables and respondents' rankings of roles was observed suggesting general agreement by disparate groups about teacher roles perceived as important or less important. Analysis of frequencies of response indicated broad general agreement about roles perceived as important both for the present and for the future and consensus about the large number of teacher roles classified as important. Roles perceived as more important tended to be those which were process or pedagogically oriented rather than those which were content oriented.


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