Publication Date


DOI (Digital Object Identifier)



Leadership and Higher Education


Doctor of Education (Ed.D)

Dissertation Chair

Dr. Alayne Sullivan, PhD.

Committee Members

Philip Mirci, Ph.D.

Ronald Morgan, Ph.D.


Education; Courage to teach; Critical reflection; Educational justice; Professional development; Rural education; Teacher formation


Educational Leadership


This qualitative case study investigated the reflective processes of four secondary teachers in a rural setting who participated in a six week guided study based on the principles of Teacher Formation as espoused by Parker J. Palmer. The research was phenomenological in nature and situated in the field of educational justice. Primary data were collected through guided study participant responses and semi-structured interviews, and were further triangulated through observational field notes and participant journal entries. The data were analyzed using emergent design that allowed the researcher to identify and code themes. The following five key themes emerged: (1) Teacher rejuvenation; (2) Change in relationship with colleagues; (3) Change in relationship with students; (4) Critical reflection/self examination; and (5) Practice more mindful teaching/greater awareness of impact. The data and presence of the emergent themes suggests that secondary teachers, however rural, can benefit from exposure to principles of Teacher Formation, and further suggests that education as a whole can benefit from the incorporation of quality professional development that is inexpensive and accessible to teachers in all areas. Finally, the outcome of this study illustrates the critical reflection processes that allow teachers to cultivate a learning environment for students based on educational justice.


ISBN: 9781124208596