Date of Award

Fall 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in School Leadership


Center for Leadership & Learning


College of Education

Committee Chair

Dr. Christopher Trombly

Second Committee Member

Dr. Rebecca Shopfner

Third Committee Member

Dr. Andrea Martin

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. John A. Freeman

Program Director

Dr. John A. Freeman

Dean of Graduate College

Dr. Mary B. Gunter


This exploratory study investigated the applicability of the Whole Child/Whole Learner concept to the teaching profession. Utilizing open-ended questions on a web-based questionnaire that was completed by secondary-level teachers throughout Arkansas, this pragmatic qualitative inquiry obtained information about teachers’ experiences in, and attitudes toward, the teaching profession. The constant comparative method was used to analyze participants’ responses to open-ended questions; patterns and themes that emerged through the data were then examined through the lenses of the five tenets of the Whole Child/Whole Learner approach. Of the five, ‘safe’ was the tenet that arose least frequently in participants’ responses. ‘Healthy,’ ‘engaged,’ and ‘challenged’ all emerged with roughly equal frequency. ‘Supported’ was the tenet from the Whole Child/Whole Learner framework that appeared most commonly as a need in participants’ responses to open-ended items about their experiences in the teaching profession. Given the valuable insight yielded by this exploratory study of the applicability of the Whole Child/Whole Learner framework to teachers at the secondary level, it is recommended that this study be replicated with a greater number of teachers, as well as with teachers at all grade levels.