Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Committee Chair

Sydney Brown


This study investigated how teachers understand themselves as adult learners and perceive their professional learning experiences within a rural school district in North Carolina. This study was a replication of Fitzgerald’s (2014) dissertation and sought to extend the generalizability of the original study. An explanatory mixed-methods design was used, and the two sources of data collected included an online survey and virtual interviews. The results from this study indicated that almost all participating teachers learned best when the core adult learning principles (Knowles, Holton, & Swanson, 2015) were applied to their professional learning experiences, but less than half of those teachers reported that their professional learning embedded these principles frequently. Furthermore, one third of the teachers reported they were infrequently experiencing job-embedded professional learning formats. The researcher recommended educational leaders and facilitators of professional learning design and implement more professional learning opportunities and job-embedded professional learning formats that embed the core adult learning principles.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.