Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership


Dr. Bruce Bryant


The focus of this dissertation was to provide insight into the perceptions of Arkansas National Board Certified Teachers (NBCTs) in regard to how the certification process impacted teaching and learning and overall student achievement. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of experience and certification level on the perceptions of NBCTs in Arkansas concerning the quality of professional development earned, enhanced teacher quality, and increased leadership opportunities as a result of the National Board Certification process. An additional purpose of this study was to determine specifically how NBCTs perceived the certification process influenced student achievement within the classroom and school.

The researcher conducted the study with 550 NBCTs in Arkansas. The participants represented the Northwestern, Southwestern, Central, Northeastern, and Southeastern regions of Arkansas. Within these five regions, the researcher used stratified random sampling to group the participants by level of certification, K-6 or 7-12, and years of experience. 3-10 or 11 or more.

The researcher used a survey instrument to determine the effects of the certification process on the dependent variables, professional development, enhanced teacher quality, and increased leadership opportunities. The survey instrument included 33 items that asked teachers to indicate their beliefs regarding the impacts that the certification process had on each dependent variable. In addition, the instrument contained two qualitative items. The purpose of these items was to allow the researcher to gain specific examples regarding the impacts—within the classroom and school—of the certification process. The researcher piloted the survey instrument prior to the study to determine reliability and validity of the instrument. To address the three hypotheses, the researcher conducted a 2 x 2 factorial analysis of variance (ANOVA). The researcher used descriptive statistics to address the research questions concerning the beliefs of Arkansas NBCTs regarding impacts the certification process had on student achievement within the classroom and school.

The results of this study showed no significant interaction between certification level and years of experience for the three hypotheses. However, survey results suggested that the certification process was a beneficial professional development that enhanced teacher quality and student achievement. Survey results indicated the certification process honed skills necessary to differentiate instruction, reflect upon teaching and learning, and use assessment data to improve instruction. In addition, participants reported that Certification improved student achievement within the classroom and school. However, participants demonstrated the belief that the certification process failed to increase leadership opportunities within the school.

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