Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

1-1-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D. in Education

Department

Teacher Education

First Advisor

Rosemary Oliphant-Ingham

Second Advisor

John Holleman

Third Advisor

Joel Amidon

Abstract

This research discusses historical, societal, and educational contexts leading to negative perceptions of public school education in the United States. The qualitative phenomenological research study explored the lived experiences of students participating in a unique scholarship program for high achieving students in teacher education. The study focused on fellows participating in the Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program (METP), a full scholarship opportunity allowing top performers to study secondary education at either Mississippi State University or the University of Mississippi. The study focused on University of Mississippi METP scholarship recipients and explored the conflict fellows experienced as a result of pursing a career in education. The researcher conducted in-depth, one-on-one interviews of METP fellows and conducted the study through a social constructivism lens. Data analysis included triangulation and thick description to aid with validity. The researcher sought emerging themes from the data and focused only on the participants' viewpoints. The data revealed the participants’ experiences of conflict as relating decision to attend a school of education, conflict during college program, and conflict in worldview. Conflict in definition of success was an underlying theme in all categories. Results derived from collection of the data have the potential to aid in recruiting high achieving students to the education profession. Keywords: Mississippi Excellence in Teaching Program, phenomenological, education

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