Date of Award


Degree Name

Educational Leadership


College of Education

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Teresa R. Eagle

Second Advisor

Michael L. Cunningham

Third Advisor

Rebecca H. Goodwin


Tied to the current federal legislation, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), and all the national influences on American Education which have come before is the need for teachers to receive high-quality professional development. Approximately 5,500 National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) work in the 13 states that lie along the Appalachian Mountain Region of the United States. To complete this study, a stratified random sample was performed with 650 NBCTs contacted by mail. They were asked to complete and return The Beck's Professional Development Inventory (BPDI). In order to analyze the data and to determine if statistical significance was achieved, Chi-square and Kruskal-Wallis nonparametric tests were performed. The goal of this study was to determine if the NBCTs working in Appalachia perceive receiving high-quality professional development activities as defined by Title IX, Section 9101 (34)A of the No Child Left Behind legislation. The Chi-square statistic confirmed the participants' distribution of frequencies did not occur by chance and that their perceptions did have a pattern of preference. Statistical significance was attained at p < .05 with a probability level of .000. The Chi-square frequencies that resulted from participant responses revealed a variety of teacher perceptions in the occurrence of the 18 activities. Of those persons responding, 72% perceived their professional development activities were aligned with and directly related to state academic content standards, student academic achievement standards, and assessments. While 56% perceived professional development activities as having improved and increased their knowledge of the academic subjects they teach only 42% perceived professional development activities as high-quality, sustained, intensive, and classroom focused in order to have a positive and lasting impact on classroom instruction and the teacher's performance in the classroom. Respondents perceived professional development activities as being developed with extensive participation of teachers and providing the opportunity to improve classroom management skills occurring merely 36% of the time.